Shaquille Grandberry

A thick drag sank into his belly, clear and husky
as chamomile in a crystal pitcher
Daddy was a Marlboro man with thick brown lips
Not my biological, but my A.K.A.
The fine print like a signature across my lower back
My feelings were rotten for him, so I saved my love for ink
For black lipstick on the collar of angels
My very own serpent winds its tattoo along my skin

These bones know God like a sweater
Like the ones he wore, with his old spice and cigar silage
Daddy was a tester teat
I was a complacent daughter without milk
I needed him
But this ain't about how baby girl got back from craving milk
This ain't about taboo metaphors
This is about masked hunger, about growling heartbeats
about fast-food sunrise cast between his legs

Or, perhaps, it’s about a femme fatale’s sweet tooth
I took in their strong bodies like Oedipus and pita bread
The way Daddy devoured women like sugar cane and lime
When the flavors fell away in his mouth he didn’t realize
the skin he wanted wasn't mine
Strangers have my skin
He won't take care to distinguish them from me
But I love him
I am the second coming in his mouth, the exhale is all I was destined for

My Daddy was a Malboro man, who only wanted a second-hand woman
Love ain't made me full. There are still bones on this plate
Sucking the marrow might kill me
Toxic smoke spreading its wings tight inside my lungs
The heavy drag is the only thing that makes eating comfortable again