By Michelle S. Reed
Slow down baby, slow down baby, you look so good from behind, baby slow down, please
slow down baby, damn, he said, and I slowed down. I slowed all the way down. I lay down
there in the street. I stayed still so he could see all of me in the way he wanted to see it.
Damn baby, he said, and he took me in his arms. Damn baby, he said, and he kissed me
just to see what I felt like. He traced the outline of my legs. He found the shape of what he
owned. Damn baby, he said, and he married me right there. He made children with me. I
stayed still. Damn baby, he said. Our daughters filled the street. Their legs, their mouths,
their gentle hands. They grew tall. I watched them walk away from me. They watched me
watch them walk away. Their father watched us watching each other, all of us learning what
our bodies can do.
Michelle S. Reed lives in an allegedly haunted house in North Carolina. Her full-length collection of poems, I Don’t Need to Make a Pretty Thing, was published by Black Lawrence Press in 2016. Her poems have appeared in The Rumpus, Verse Daily, and Waxwing, among others. She makes art in her spare time and shares it on Instagram at @dreamatorium_art. She dabbles in nonfiction and makes music when she’s feeling very brave.