Two Poems


I locked my mouth like the doors of your eyes

Globes full of museums with hollow hallways

Which pocket holds my key?

Which page can cut the deepest?

Break the backspace

Present presents with lessons wrapped in aluminum foil

How do you do it?

Scream for my silence in silence?

Shape the subject into you?

I’ll tell you how I did it

It was not on purpose

Do you feel me running down your hand

Because of how you gripped me?

Every crevice of me leaking?

There’s too much of you

No dictionary has me

Slam the book

Slam yourself inside

I’ll make room

I didn’t notice I let go

I’ve been nurtured into slippery

Cultivated into clumsy

When I said you weren’t bothering me

I didn’t mean it

Each time

And when you insinuated I was made just for you

I wished I were a rib

Replace your question marks with God

Replace your ignorance with facts

Let go of my hand to put yours on the clutch

Reverse me back to the only corner with no webs

Erase the games of tic tac toe on my skin

With your tongue

Undress me to my skeleton

Taste me then kiss me

I use your hair to clean my fingers

Because it feels good

Because I want to feel the residue of your brain under these nails

Then flick them away like the nuisance you are

I love the new haircut

I love the temple

But that is all

We’re the pink spit from brushed teeth

Is it the paste and blood

Because I brushed too hard

Or is it the paste and Koolaid

The cherry kind we breathed as kids

But now doesn’t taste the same

But now taste like required insulin


Won’t you discuss me one more time

Say those words we’ve all heard before

Say it like you mean it

Say it like a song

Say it like we’re single


Home is where the sound of sirens are lullabies. Where single moms dream when they blink. Where the candles smell like the places we’ve never been. Where the grass on the other side is as green as money. Home sparkles with resilience. Home has tears that could quench thirst. Sometimes our smiles are tired from being bent but we smile anyway. Home is where neighbors offer you mangos from their trees. Where Grandma plants her own collard greens. Where aunties and uncles smoke blunts and black & milds while playing cards. Where there are t-shirts and towels dancing in the wind, waiting to be dry. Where a surplus of men roam the streets and fatherless children sleep untucked in bed. Home is where your mom approves your sleepover with your cousin just for y’all to laugh until Auntie yells for y’all to go to bed. Home is where the pastors are loud and the choirs are louder. But who one can hear us? Who will listen? Home is where the clouds slow down prayers. Where the people are darker from flying too close to the sun. Home is a whisper of water touching the seeds who can make it out. Home is a 9 to 5. A 7 to 3. An 11 to 7. A clock in and a clock out and a clock broken. Home is a bowl of dirt and glitter. Home is a rearview mirror glistening with neighbors, aunties, uncles, cousins, play-cousins, friends, classmates, moms all waving and watching your journey on the yellow brick road.

CHOYA is an adjunct professor at Adelphi University with a B.A. in Mass Communications and M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Her work has been published in Rigorous Magazine, midnight & indigo, Her Campus, The Crow’s Nest, NNB News and elsewhere. She’s a proud Floridian who lives happily on Long Island in New York.