Ericka / janice lynn mather

a brassy mouth.  a laugh spilled out like inverted mango,
slashed purple skin spill orange flesh.  and tart.
and sweet.
cuss and row, trombone inside out,
a scarlet saxophone, cymbals her lungs
a rim of gold about a tooth
a loud woman.

he comes by around nine,
the five-times baby daddy,
pulls Ericka out into the street
his knife making a dozen new vaginas
in her belly.

her slingshot voice spatters the house front walls
then stops.
a black nissan takes him away from her
neck slit

spread wide.
eyes open, bright as rain, she stays.
the street cleared quiet.
houses take two steps back.  the road opens,

and Ericka’s throat pours red
fermented, sweet and rotten
and trails, washing the street dust down and
spilling out

rusted scarlet bitter
laughter at a festival,
fête at a funeral.


ja**ly would rather you read her poems than her bio.


  1. I almost wish I did not know the lovely woman that wrote this so that I could stand outside and look at it.

    I love the pictures and the colours and the simple, straightforward language. I can see everything, vividly.

    An all too common tale in my experience. Thanks for sharying ja**ly.

  2. A poem telling the truth about a woman’s life on the island, important to me for that. “his knife making a dozen new vaginas in her belly,” a shocking (original) image, very good. the mango metaphore though, close to cliche. Good, brave piece.

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