to open up your hand and
decorate my cheek with fire. A
swift movement across the
i. not killing me,
ii. striking with bloomed digits as
if for fashion, or pimp instruction,
iii. not loving yourself enough to
value your life.
I come from a tribe of not so nice nice
women. Us women with islands on our
hips are everything but balanced.
My grandmother sharpened her
tongue, before splitting the longitude
of a man, seatbelt style, with only
her mouth on the lords day.
Be afraid. Me and my girls are an
unrelenting pack. Don’t open your
palm to the mosaic of roses; rake
a body made of thorns unless
you intend to burn the whole garden.
A word of advice,
when you start a battle with a
person who calls living surviving
a meridian spanned war.
If you intend to strike, kill—
or keep your damn hands
CHOICES: A response to the video “Leave Whores Alone! This video is only for men! Women, watch at your own risk!” by Manhood U
Many men love whores…a woman cannot be a whore without your support.
My womanhood and I have separated,
now owned by the male estate.
Climbed out in search of unused
holy and, knee-dropped to the
male whore Gods,
pressed her lips together
got a farce forgiveness.
Glory be to the man who said
…Men are dogs, and
dogs do not lay down with
cats or bears, but bitches so
women have bitch tendencies.
You, and the ones like you,
are who I make Molotov of mouth,
slingshot of skin for,
a gutter bank of your laptop.
backyard entrance of my body
billowed breath on nape of neck
fell in love with girl—
no trace of women’s red.
Whore: my Aunts house,
shiver under husbands bludgeoned
hands. Slurred stance made
retired holiday of her joy, made
broken window of her body.
Whore: me whispering my name in
a sweat lined room to tell my limbs,
this is what it feels like to say YES.
It is not the cold blitzing under your nightie for warmth,
not the prayer finally skidding across the wrist
This is free.
It is my skin disguised as flight, buffer-less,
voice melting out to silk.
Whore: telling my niece’s beautiful
that it need not hide, never run
from the jackals clenched jaw—
salivating snare. Tell her,
you are so much free,
you do not owe the half ribbed;
the ones who will call you whore
after gouged holes in your
screams, stories and “stop”s!
There is a whole planet for us—
women with the wild eyes &
the legs that spread under
roof, sky, holy yes.
This is how I praise dance,
how I tell myself:
When ALL the boys tried to write
their names on you,
through walk in rain in same clothes,
You got up
This is mine, mine, mine.
Nabila Lovelace is a born and raised Queens native, as well as a first generation American. Her parents hail from Trinidad and Tobago and Nigeria. She is a recent graduate of Emory University, and a winner of the 2013 Poets & Writers Amy Award. Currently she is living in Nanjing, China as a participant of the 2013-2014 AYC program. In her spare time she likes to eat Chocolate Chip cookies, and drink milkshakes.