"Year of the Dog"
they can't remember why they throats raw. now they been conjured
coaxed. now they bark at all the burning in the streets. sob & howl.
even with all that root work down in the bloody house of gawd.
they all got funeral wreaths for throats now &
they only need a little push. a little incentive to get hot.
they lick the necks of their muted young. whine
when one gets loose & jumps over the fence & ends up on a sidewalk
too far downtown. they pace now.
shit on piles of old newspapers. they nibble on the raw meat
strewn across their front yard.
get angry. wonder where the meat comes from & who
threw it there in the first place. question its brown edges.
Where the babies at anyways? now
they all gonna get out the gate. catch a body.
get they bodies back. pick up the dead
& howl. shit.
anything & everything can burn!
i smile at all the babies i see. secret them rows of bleached teeth.
flinch when mothers bury them into boxes
slick with bird bones & cat piss & broken glass & toxic
sands that will soon bring a bloom to their smudged cheeks.
i wonder if this is common practice. do other mothers see
what i see? do they know what is down there? sockets
of light suffocating? i wonder. do other mothers carry babies in their lockets?
whisper to their phantom children in stranger's arms? do other amputee
mothers congregate outside of playgrounds? do other mothers
try to forget what date it is? do they stop to pray in between orgasms?
do other mothers scream into empty bassinets? those with little left
to lose? do they crochet powder blue blankets to smother
their weariness? do other mothers sob at the spasms
of their empty bellies? do other mothers mourn their thefts?
Faylita Hicks is a Black, Queer writer, mobile photographer, performance and Hip-Hop artist from San Marcos, TX. She was the 2009 Grand Slam Champion of the Austin Poetry Slam. Her manuscript was a finalist in the 2016 Write Bloody Book Contest and 2012 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest. In 2015, she released her first Hip Hop EP, Collision City. In 2018, she was an inaugural Open Mouth Readings Writing Retreat participant and was awarded a Sundress Academy for the Arts Residency.
Her poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, The Rumpus, Glass Poetry Press, Kweli Journal, Cosmonauts Avenue Ink & Nebula, American Poetry Journal, Yes Poetry and others. Her visual art has been exhibited in the Texas State University Common Experience Gallery, Insomnia Art Gallery (Houston, X), Dahlia Woods Gallery and featured in Five:2:One Art & Literary print magazine.
She is the founder and Creative Director of Arrondi Creative Productions and an artist on the roster for Hip-Hop Collective Grid Squid Entertainment. In 2017, she was awarded the San Marcos Arts Commission Grant for her monthly event series, SMTX Ripple Market which provided performance and exhibit opportunities to Women, POC and those identified as LGBQ-IA. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Sierra Nevada College's Low Residency program and received her Bachelor's Degree from Texas State University in San Marcos, TX.