Photo of a Girl, 1988: Cyborg by Faylita Hicks

           Somewhere, Carolina

Standing next to my Momma, I mimic
the exposure of internal systems, revealing
an elegant smile creased white in the brunt of my dark face,
blue grease slipping down the side of my neck.

My sister coils around her leg, a frame
bent by mistake, & together we are
tint against the grill of the bleeding
velvet hood of a trifling sun-licked Corvette.

Momma poses with Her hips jut out,
with Her flesh-eating ammo
gossiping beneath the floral print
about the irony of carrying

a loaded whistle, hustled down
between Her copper rings,
& Momma slash Qween
is hype next to the hissing machine

She will later use to drive us over
to Jesus & back to Cali & down
to Texas &&&& to drive
my daddy’s specter off

a murky dirt road & over to the other
unmarried piston-husked men &&&
back to my hologram of a daddy
with his lead-filled heart slash tongue

& I know what I am & will always be—
something that can & will survive
a whole century of hunt.

To learn more about Faylita Hicks visit her website by clicking here, or go to her page on the
website of the Poetry Foundation’s website by clicking here.

This poem comes from Faylita Hicks’s book Hoodwitch.

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