Cyst © by Zakia Carpenter-Hall


We struggled
with the knot until it burst

Black Fairy by Heidi Daley

open, he and I, two snakes twisting,
transitioning, making a knot
to slough skin; but it
full of old waste,
like an intestine or clogged
pore, oily gray matter spilled
out and we were no longer
slippery from moist
rubbing, the liquefying heat
of our bodies in united
separation. We came
False skin lies at our
ankles, bunching around
our toes. Not much to hobble
out of, no anger this time.
How can I be
the deceit, now purged,
is plaque scraped from teeth,
blockage removed, a tumor
extracted – remission.
The problem
is the body’s ability
to produce more. I have been
an excavator of sorts
but sometimes the work is over
once dirt and grime returns
to the skin’s surface.


More poems by Zakia Carpenter-Hall can be found in the upcoming anthology Dampen to Bend – Mapping Transport and Transition, due out in Summer 2013. Hall is an African-American writer, multidisciplinary artist, facilitator and artistic consultant. She holds a BA from Kalamazoo College in Michigan and will attend Goldsmiths University for an MA in London. Her poetry has appeared in Kalamazoo College’s literary magazine the Cauldron.

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