The bitch been followin' me for days from the house
like she gotta long-buried bone to pick.
They say she don’t blink she so scared to 
            let me out her sight.

Almost always she stay half a block behind, 
tongue lollin’, that nasty white spit caked
in the corners of her lips—she’s turned 
           into such a slobbermouth.
I close my eyes when she finally decides
to get close enough to leap and somethin'
guttural is born in us both. I keep my arm straight
           just like he showed me.

The blade I been carryin' swivels from its bed 
with a well-oiled snick—thirsty—and it’s as if 
she don’t hear it or don’t wanna see it comin', 
         like her eyes are closed too.

And even when fat slug lines of somethin' dark 
red and wet blooms from her muzzle, then from 
her chest, I hold on until bone cracks, steel tongue 
        lookin' for the letloose that will end 

her.       And me.


 after “Chair” by Bjarne Melgaard*



She was always the type of piece
meant to make you feel comfortable.
Her legs cracked back just so, stiletto
heels poised to perforate the sky,
her ebony leather gloves lapping up
all that mahogany skin, she was built
to make this position look easy.
See how she doesn’t even blink,
let alone trench her brow with the strain?
See how that perfect pink pout remains
relaxed, as though accepting your weight
were no more strenuous than lying sweet,
still, and silent on a polar bear’s pelt?
See how not a single nap is out of kink?
If she could speak, you’d be surprised
to know she has no comment at all
on her current condition, but cares deeply
for the enormous and REAL obscenities
that threaten our actual existence.
She wonders and worries often
about our civilization and whether or not
we will survive the acid rain, the holes
in the ozone, the melting polar ice caps,
and what has happened to all those poor,
poor bees. Don’t worry about her
faulting you for wanting to take a load off.
She’d say leave blame to the muckrakers.
I’m telling you, she’s the type of piece
that wants you to feel good, wants nothing
more than for you to pull up a chair.

*This sculpture, one of a series based on the original Allen Jones sculptures, depicts a black woman lying on her back in a bondage costume with her legs hiked behind her head and a seat cushion fixed atop the backs of her thighs.



Affrilachian Poet and Cave Canem Fellow Bianca Spriggs is an award-winning poet and multidisciplinary artist who lives in Lexington, Kentucky. A doctoral candidate at the University of Kentucky, she holds degrees from Transylvania University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. With the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association, she created The SwallowTale Project: Creative Writing for Incarcerated Women. Bianca authored Kaffir Lily and How Swallowtails Become Dragons. She is the Managing Editor for pluck!