The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Salt Body Shimmer by Aricka Foreman

This selection, chosen by Managing Editor Krista Cox, is from Salt Body Shimmer by Aricka Foreman, released by YesYes Books in 2019.


content warning for sexual assault

It wasn’t that bad
                                He wasn’t quick Was slow,
and the cane creak sticks
                                He didn’t finish In a dream
had you touch him where Grits were stirred
                                It was a Saturday morning It was summer
Season for running He said after
                                Titties gettin’ big You dreamed it
The hallway Pressed your hair between two hot metal plates
                                Bathroom suffocated by sweet stink
He stood inside the doorway You stood together in the dark
                                backyard of the dream He’s dead now
Who’s Side Is It Anyway Grass megawatt as the moon
                                Who sings to you from the deep
Oil cracks, sizzles Pastel peels Dreams
                                him inside the doorways
Now you’re grown in the car toward
                                another late bar shift
After little sleep You dream again and don’t
                                know the truth The expert on NPR says
Fear leaves behind its own scent He reached for you
                                It wasn’t him who tried your mother
You learn later but can’t tell the difference
                                A friend says over your birthday dinner
You want chicken or steak Get Over It Who ain’t been raped
                                You want to spit Sometimes it’s not Him but him
This ain’t about desire so let’s stop talking
                                It’s a bbq, lighten up Everything’s alright
Ribs on the grill, turning, tender Which picked herbs
                                to suture? He points toward the yard,
There, a gold fountain In the dream he knows what he means
                                A good man will kill for his, erect
A monument You can’t run around with no bra on
                                You can’t run Around it was quick ,
the turning Tinder Tender The dream creaks
                                Primes the season for stirred mornings
Fear leaves us behind It owns some kind of lie

Aricka Foreman is a poet, editor and educator from Detroit. Author of Dream with a Glass Chamber and Salt Body Shimmer (YesYes Books 2019), she has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. Her poems, essays and features have appeared in The Offing, Buzzfeed, Vinyl, RHINO, The Blueshift Journal, Day One, shuf Poetry, James Franco Review, THRUSH, Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poems for the Next Generation (Viking Penguin), among others. She lives in Chicago.

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