Weird Anatomy Sonnet
tiger stripes tattoo the creases of my legs.
ma calls them a rite of passage
into womanhood & i wonder if that sacred
thing includes the craters on my face
and the way they swell with pus
in the aftermath of my period. The drabness
of this body: a stomach covered
with spots of eczema, teeth stained yellow.
I roll the black ring on my
knees into brown patellas,
my genetic makeup
has a knock-kneed gait, unveiling
two twig-like appendages. my thighs, aching from
the weight of carefree hips, nestle in jeans that
hug them so tight I learn to give in to tenderness.
Self-Portrait as Marie Laveau
in those days I was
my crown made of diamonds
glistening in the bonfires
of Congo Square. on the
holiest day of the week
the gatherings commenced
and we sang ballads to loa.
Laveau was said to have
traveled the streets like she
cemeteries know my name. I
get eaten by arcane lore—
in faith that my body will be
summoned from spray painted
with omnipotent bags of
gris-gris carried in their
left to whisk bad luck
away with righteous means.
when it is finished, they
push further along into the
shadows of New Orleans
and I rest here awaiting
ALANA BROWN-DAVIS is a rising junior from Tylertown, Mississippi and attends South Pike High School. When not reading or writing, she enjoys bingeing Netflix and playing her guitar.