Two Poems

Britney Gabbidon

Miniatures in a Game of Femme

When I was ten, I believed myself to be a peacock
I plucked my own feathers when I learned of my white belly

I shave the width of my hips with a nail file
I try to juice the sex from me like lemons

Sometimes, I think if I carve deeply enough,
I might find the blue eye of a feather

I tell my lovers, “I am a glass house”
I split them open when they break in

I am the giggling of chimes
There is music in my hips, becoming dust,

I feed my lovers lemonade, chilled
All wind enters me

I am a gallery of glass sculptures
I distract from my house afire 

Lemonade is complimentary at the door.

Memory Breathes Even When the Body is Gasping

The varicose veins          
purple with a shyness         This body, a house
swollen but vain                 

All the windows, congested          with the birds that tried
to escape

The children complain
it’s too hot          They can see themselves          limbs extended           like fever grass    
thighs widened          spread of butter
There are strangers in the mirrors

The children complain
hunger ties their stomachs          shibori          indigo in their throats           like phlegm
The birds are eaten raw          The children
wait by the windows,          claw wildly with fish-hook hands

The stretch marks
englut shea butter          snake          with banged bellies          pertinacious
They won’t skinny themselves          for forgetfulness’ sake

The children refuse
to leave the house          build beds out of ventricles        make cellophane
out of their skin              cling          stretch over doorways

The birds          songless throats          evolved
to evade fishermen          a house, reverberating 
with songless mornings          with children          
pressing a pillow          to joy’s face          seeing          if perhaps
it can sing     

Britney Gabbidon is a writer from Kingston, Jamaica. She was a shortlisted candidate for the Poet Laureate of Jamaica and Helen Zell: Young Writer’s Prize for Poetry competition in 2018 and in 2020. Her work has been published in New Voices: Selected by Lorna Goodison, Poet Laureate of Jamaica 2017-2020, The Caribbean Writer, Pree and What Are Birds among others.


*Image by Inja Pavlić on Unsplash

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