Juicy: A Poem

By Ebony Stewart

Because all my aunties be shaped like pears, peaches and watermelon.
Because we be the fruit that didn't fall far from the tree.
Because juicy be a woman sweet enough to stand still or keep a man coming back on his knees.
Because there's such a thing as too sweet and they can smell her coming.

Because every house has a kitchen.
Because the whole house is a stove with an oven.
Because the women in this house bess know how to cook and burn something.
Because if you can't cook and burn you'll get a man who wants more than something to eat.
Because every woman in this house been stolen from her own home,
     at least once.

(Now they keep a knife under their pillows while they sleep.)

Because we don't talk about it.
Because we can't say.
Because secrets can be fixed with a door and Daddy finally got the goddamn door fixed anyway.
Because they still bang.
Because you promised you wasn't gonna let nothing else happen to you or sissy again,
     no how/no way.

Because the windows on her face say this ain't no trap house.
But because the fiends keep lurkin.
Because one of us standing on the porch letting ‘em take ass shots;
     she tautin' and twerkin'.

Because she ain't fully aware of her bodies worth
     and she been touched too much.

She think Amen only come to women who treat their bodies like servants.

Because she forgot to be her own hallelujah.
Because nobody taught her not to be temporary.
Because honey.
Because chill.
Grandmama still prayeth in the fold of her hands by the fruit of her loins/
     joy cometh in the morning.

And free we be.
With all our spilt juice back in our bodies.

Photo: Shutterstock

Ebony Stewart is all things black, woman, and magic. She is a published author, touring performance arts poet, and sexual health educator. She writes because she has too but eats cupcakes for fun.