HOW TO DRAIN THE BRACHIAL ARTERY
believe a man 27 years older than you loves you.
suck him off and moan with the last of the air
in your throat. do not breathe in after you swallow.
counterfeit 96.4 weeks of orgasms. wait for a kiss.
read your palms in the bathroom after you moan
with the last of the air in your throat. do not
breathe in. sever your love line. hemorrhage, but
do it quietly because you need to go back
and mass produce another orgasm in the sweatshop
that is your bed. the blood you fracked from your body
through the pipeline of your love line now sloshes
in the open cavity of your bathroom sink.
the man that is 27 years older than you is colorblind
so he calls the blood water and spits in it but remember—
he has a heightened sense of smell and knows this is not
water. remember. do not breathe in. take your bloodless
body back to bed and forget
you have a voice.
fail to understand that orgasm and sound are simply
vibrations passing through narrow and damp spaces
of the body. cause no drama. tell no one. take
your bloodless body to the bed and moan in a 2/5
time signature. call this music. make an album. win
a Grammy. when he pulls your hair at the root call
the not blood not water slicking your thighs
Creation Myth #18
How I was made: “I see you. You are a part of me.”
The mark of greatness
I don’t remember what I was before you what I was isn’t memorable
you were worried I would go crazy.
I did. but I am not lot’s wife—I look and look
at the ruins (me) and do not die.
everything before you
I don’t remember how I was before you how I was isn’t memorable
what to call this: murder?
I don’t remember where I was before you where I was isn’t memorable
and everything after
to survive I unremember: how to know, your unlistening
deadweight, a short film starring your ex
& her nimbus of hair,
I keep: your hand under my dress in a movie theater,
your head on my shoulder in a movie theater, 28 snores
of perfume on my neck.
I don’t remember why I was before you why I was isn’t memorable
bears your mark.
all things question their makers—
if you did not love me, then why?
Tafisha Edwards is the author of THE BLOODLET, winner of Phantom Books’ 2016 Breitling Chapbook Prize. Her work is also featured in: Not Without Our Laughter: Poems of Humor, Sexuality, and Joy by the Black Ladies Brunch Collective, published by Mason Jar Press (available for pre-order here). You can find more of her work in The Offing, PHANTOM, Bodega Magazine, The Atlas Review, The Little Patuxent Review, and other print and online publications. She currently serves as the Assistant Poetry Editor for Gigantic Sequins, and is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s Jiminéz-Porter Writers’ House. She is a Cave Canem Graduate fellow and a former educator with the American Poetry Museum. She has received a Zoland Poetry Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center and in addition to scholarships to The Juniper Summer Writing Institute, The Minnesota Northwoods Writers’ Conference and other writing workshops and conferences. She is currently writing her first full length collection of poetry, RIOT / ACT.