Three Poems by Diamond Forde

Life with fat girl, Post-Coitus

Spread over indigo light, sweat-
dimpled and satisfied, she basks

in amaretto aftermath.  
Sour pit of his spit still pinched 

between her teeth. She’s teeth 
and tit. She’s tit 

for tattooed dudes with god
complexes.         fat girl and the shame

of her wants—to be perfumed 
with lace, panties swinging 

their tassel from the ceiling fan. 
The yarn between her legs

yawns to center frame—
her eyes, predatory as a crocodile

cut a mauling jaw through the coast
at the canvas’ edge, her thighs

circle her sex like a bowl of fruit. Look
how the lacework from her lingerie paints

shadows: incandescent shards, 
or pinpoints of light, an embroidery

of sequins in her sweat. 
She wants you to see her this way:

               and apex,

hip and hoof, gut 
and tusk. She will not apologize 

for the animal she’s become
for once. Rather, rise

raw as a belt welt 
swollen with breath 

but breathing             so loud
no one can deny it.


Love Poem for that Night We Made Salsa Verde and Learned What Capsaicin Is

Tomatillos, shucked and pearlescent with oil, 
wait on the rack to roast. We chop [jalapeños]
[serranos][poblanos], declutter the clustered
seeds with our thumbs, and when the salsa’s done, tuck
tortas in our prowling mouths, feed with feasting
fingers on our own sweet skin, chuck the clutter
from the countertops then [suckle][nuzzle][shovel] 
a groping finger into my damp earth, unaware 
of the peppers still gloving our hands. Capsaicin, 
a word which here means heat, its deep roots 
burrowing [the grooves of our nipping fingers] [the wetness 
I give] my nerves becoming kindling for a pepper’s
campfire. I [fray][scorch]. [My pink hood curls into ribbons]
[sparks spit between my lips] but you kiss the calm back
into me, search [cabinets] [baskets] [the dust-stacked rings
of Saturn] for any oil to cull the lashing 
tendril of capsaicin inside me, find the tapered bottle
of olive oil then pour its blessing on my pulsing
peony, the cool green dipping like [a dancer][an anointing 
a word which here means [miracle][watching Moses reach 
into the burning bush, a word which here means I spread 
for greasy relief and the skin silks red and sweet and new
like a [flute of sun-brewed wine] [tomato’s uncut bloom]]. 


Elegy for my Psyche

Dear Women Twitter Screenshot

You, Psyche, have been abused by every late-night romp and one-night riding, every sexual encounter is a unit ticking off my vices—Kyle, the gamer whose Dorito-leavened sweat stole my open mouth and now, I’m a crossfire cussing, each fuck cocks and bullets my clacking teeth. Or Sergeant Emanuel whose dutiful seed left me loyal to his ice cream brands and selfie poses, to the steady march of lime in a tonic and gin. Sweet Ruben, who taught me to cup my tongue and drink the rain. At least, I’m never alone. At least, what I learned is true: every man cradles his wit in his dick, which Momma taught me after another man stitched a patch on her psyche’s quilt. Elegy, too, for the many men who have lost so much of themselves that they are now, like Reno, a pot of grits with no salt, an ocean with no shark, a detonator without a bomb. Imagine the Kleenex grandstanding in a gathering of junk, while women, powerful as soucouyants, suck a man clean from his bones, pour their legs like pitch around his neck, then spark—so much joy in their matchstick smiles, the bed burns.


Diamonde FordeDiamond Forde‘s debut collection, Mother Body, is the winner of the 2019 Saturnalia Poetry Prize and is forthcoming in 2021. Diamond has received numerous awards and prizes, including the Pink Poetry Prize, the Furious Flower Poetry Prize, and CLA’s Margaret Walker Memorial Prize, and more. She is a Callaloo and Tin House fellow, whose work has appeared in Massachusetts Review, Ninth Letter, NELLE, Tupelo Quarterly and elsewhere.

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