In the salon, foot soles bathe, black fingers fondle through neon gel colors, green alive. Hard brush swoops, Göt2b glue wades in fivehead waves, and baby hairs cover, sea alive.
Thee Stallion is water through speaker faucet, waists whine, hot boys hover, greed alive. Syrup back sides, twerkologist minds, tequila treasures, hype their sisters, she alive.
Fat Tuesday big cup in palm grove, margarita mouths, drunken limbs flutter, leave alive. Makeup brushes sweep hotel room wind, the skirt, chunk heel, gold shadow, summer, free alive.
Biker shorts leaf the thighs, nipple rings grow through fitted crops, skin bark butter, tree alive. Beach bright with bodies, hungry clicks of iphone cameras, yasss bih wonder, see alive.
Paint the bones in bodycon, decide on gloss, selfie note for the lover, gleam alive. Lay in the sun, say black girls don’t need screen, the skin unravels like thunder, heat alive.
Roll insides of plant to paper, merlot lip stain at its tip, blunt mothers, weed alive. Three am pizza, henny at ten, lemon pepper wings for the culture, eat alive.
We stuff small bags with cloth body, cathedral this living we have conjured, speak alive. On South beach, I, poet, Black girl un-break, squad of Gods come of Black mothers, we alive.
Family Pathology with Alternate Universe
Shaina Phenix is a poet, educator, and Virginia Tech MFA poetry candidate from Harlem, New York. She received a BA in Poetry, Theater, and Africana studies at Hampshire College. Her obsessions are the sounds of black existence, the passing down of stories, the ocean, the body, mothering, and home. She has work in Rue Scribe journal online and her poem, “lucille,” was published by Raptor Editing as a part of an anthology entitled The Great Good News of Your Own Voice. She tweets at @ShainaPhenix.