Midnight to 3 A.M.




I glare


            at my husband snoring

            and think of mulatto house slaves,


            not all of them, just the ones

            that might have looked like me


            and were petrified, like me, to touch

            themselves, down there, down where


            it’s burnt and swollen to worship

            that weak part of me that’s cream,


            to hunger the part of me that’s white

            matter, separated—the forgotten


            phonics of blood, thickening

            the room with red


            platelets. I close his mouth.

            I clap my hands. I turn him over


to stop

and start myself.