by Safiya Sinclair
|Born in the ink of the vulture,
hauled beneath the same wing,
we were dropped like offal across the waiting sand,
fingers webbed together
at the sinews. There your matted hair,
your one grey tooth.
There the strange ocean
offered you nothing
How you crouched inside the palm
You wanted the breast and the bottle
Beneath the scar of our thunderstorm,
whole worlds existing between us.
Back then I wanted more of you
in my bed. Where you found me embracing
your tongue lodged with disgust
Was it then I became something
One toothless bird shivering
Brother, I reached for you
Safiya Sinclair was born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and received her MFA in poetry at the University of Virginia. Her first full-length collection, Cannibal, won the 2015 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry (University of Nebraska Press, 2016). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry, The Boston Review, Prairie Schooner, The Cincinnati Review, The Journal, Sonora Review, and elsewhere. She has been awarded a writing fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Amy Clampitt Residency Award, an Emerging Writer Fellowship from Aspen Summer Words, and an Academy of American Poets Prize. She is currently pursuing a PhD in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California.