Friday, February 10, 2012

Poem of the Week: Venus Thrash

Venus Thrash


I am wearing a white tux with tails,

or a baby blue one with a ruffly shirt,

or decked out in classic black, or coolly

clad in a pearl-white dashiki embroidered

in gold silk, or my favorite pair of holy

blue jeans with a white tee shirt that says

I Heart Pussy, or the green one with the black

velvet fist raised in the air, & you're not

wearing a white dress at all but a wispy

wraparound, strawberry-red, that hugs you

warm & tight around the waist, cut low

at the small of your back, showing off

peek-a-boo cleavage & legs with no quit,

& our folks are here with tissues & hankies

bawling the way parents do at weddings,

& I won't be waiting for you at the end

of any aisle, but we will walk together,

arm-in-arm, hand-in-hand, our wrists

tied & bound with sheer purple scarves,

& we will be the only ones giving us away

under a moonlit sky abundant in stars,

& there will be no Wedding March

on the Steinway but Nina Simone

demanding Be My Husband & I'll Be

Your Wife or Aretha Franklin's luscious

You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman,

& we won't exchange vows or rings,

but smoldering kisses & lingering hugs,

& there will be no parchment certificate

stamped with any State's approval

confirming we're married or in love,

but we will jump over a brand new straw

broom, we will light candles & pour red

wine into the earth where our ancestors sleep,

we will wash & anoint each other's heads

with frankincense & myrrh, & the women

will unwind butter-yellow kangas

from their hair & toss them on the ground

before us to cushion our feet.

-Venus Thrash

Used by permission.

Venus Thrash has had poetry published in Gargoyle, Beltway Quarterly, Torch, and the Arkansas Review, and in the anthologies Spaces Between Us: An HIV/AIDS Anthology, Full Moon on K Street: Poems About Washington, DC, Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem's First Decade, and Haunted Voices, Haunting Places: An Anthology of Writers of the Old and New South. She has read at the Studio Museum in Harlem, The Schomburg Center for African American Research, and The Library of Congress. She is a professor of fiction and poetry, and a mother.

Thrash will be reading at Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness, March 22-25, 2012. Join us!

Please feel free to forward Split This Rock Poem of the Week widely. We just ask you to include all of the information in this email, including this request. Thanks!

Split This Rock

No comments: