Poem of the Week: Consent is a Labyrinth of Yes by Aricka Foreman

1. To the boys on the playground who played grab and run.

2. To the friend’s father who stands dark in the doorway, asks her

to stay, television glow casting shadows across his face.

3. A grandfather whose hands find the youngest of the stock.

4. Grabbed her breast at the kitchen table

5.  A grandmother removing him from the scene by his collar.

Beats him with his cane.

6. The family almost talks about it.

7. The women kneel for prayer. Protect mine, Lord, for they do not

 know what is not their fault: to have an organ that takes

and spits back out.

8. To the only lover who told her no after too much gin.

9. To the og who preferred her that way. Adds woman to

the first time she takes when she wants to.

10. She never wants to have children this way but does.

11. History is a dangerous legacy.

12. Learning he says.

13. A woman digs up her name from her throat. The water

from it washes out the mouths of what came before.

14. A grandmother is triggered back to her body blued, locked

in a room. A mother remembers the double barrel echoing

her silence.

15. Nothing stands still. Darkness and light. Her salt body, dark

and shimmer. Its perfect doing. Her unafraid.

*Originally published in The James Franco Review*

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