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  • Tar Woman and: From the Hen Your Husband Fetishizes
  • Ciara Miller (bio)

Tar Woman

There’s venom in your spit, hawked up, choked out, green. Speech so scratched, no one knows your cadence. Rot sticks to your skin like coal tar. You smell yourself, after soap & rags. Snow falls, touches you human. You question, why? Cross thumbs over knuckles. Punch its fluff for crowning your eyelashes. All rum & fear. You could bully the air & win. No wind clears a dead, breathing stench. Across the city pale bodies turn to Rick & James, distant relatives whose funk makes music.

From the Hen Your Husband Fetishizes

Steak knives poke from a wooden kitchen rack as I cluck & jive on the checker-board floor, shivering, fidgeting, hoping his eyelashes flutter. He plucks a feather from my torso to tickle your son’s toe. I bat a lash, imagining a life without knowing I will be murdered.

Madame, I know my blood will zigzag the crevices of your husband’s palm. This man who feeds and fattens me, his saliva is venom. His fetish is to fuck another species, to choke me, to hear me squeal, to dip my head back, to raise the steak knife to my coward, chicken throat.

Madame, you claim to be a feminist, waltzing on pointed high heel toes, but will you ever wobble on flat feet? [End Page 185]

Ciara Miller

Ciara Miller, a native of Chicago, is a poetry MFA candidate and an African American/African Diaspora Studies MA candidate at Indiana University. She has published poems and academic essays in such collections and periodicals as Callaloo, PLUCK, Chorus, Dark Phrases, Alice Walker: Critical Insights, and Cave Canem Anthology XII.



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