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Cynthia Robinson Young

What I Want to Taste

I want to taste my father

And my mother—a craving

I have had since the last time

I ingested what love could look like,

Him, presenting from behind his back

a bouquet of flowers

In the middle of a soap opera,

her, putting down the hot iron carefully

On the ironing board,

 away from the cotton sheet

Draped to the floor next to me,

looking up at this embrace,

A question forming still—

Women Were Created After the Animals, the Last Creation on the List

unless we were forgotten,

although how could we have been?

We are the daughters of Bathsheba,

bathing freely on the rooftops

while our grand warrior fathers were busy with survival.

We’re as extra as Wakanda,

hunting & gathering is shopping,

cooking, on a barbeque grill.

The trouble is, we are still fleeing the Garden,

dodging the shadows of the lynching trees

that taught us that if we keep running

we’ll get to the finish line

that keeps shifting into fog.

Stay humble, stay grateful and speak not of equality.

Our death, your violence,

and no way to escape either, not in 1820 or 2020.

All of us warring against who is woke

and who is on the plantation still, and reading the news,

not knowing if it’s real or fake anymore or if it ever was. These days

we don’t know where in the world to be,

and who we should  be combatting.

We don’t even know who to trust

because our history

is written on the souls of our dead ancestors.

And what do we even remember,

always starting from the beginning?

Cynthia Robinson Young is a native of Newark, New Jersey, but now lives in Tennessee where she is a graduate student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Her work has appeared in journals including Rigorous, The Amistad, Global Poemic Freedom Fiction, and Catalpa: a magazine of Southern Perspectives.

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