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Blessed Be

By Niki Herd

the black body            found
next door     near the house      where
the blind girl     lived

Blessed be

togetherness     the act of
intercourse or intersection      billy
club      to skull            knife
to gut              hands   noosed
around     a          neck

Blessed be       praise

Blessed be

the length        of a feather        in a church
hat       or the tension    of a chord
held in the throat           of a black girl   belting
out      amazing grace               over     a
body              now gone

Blessed be       the body now gone

Blessed be       the seasons

Blessed be       summer winter spring

Blessed be       place

Blessed be

the black body           found
in an alley      behind       that fashionable street
with those cafes         on its sleeve

Blessed be       time

Blessed be       how the moon cuts itself in half

Blessed be       the body now gone

in the time                  it takes
to place spit     to finger           to take
this page         and turn

Added: Thursday, April 30, 2015  /  From "The Language of Shedding Skin," (Main Street Rag, 2010). Used with permission.
Niki Herd
Photo by Jennie Scott.

Niki Herd has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and her work has appeared in several journals and anthologies, including Obsidian, The Rumpus, Lit Hub, North American Review, The Feminist Wire, Feminist Formations, Split This Rock, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2, Resisting Arrest: Poems to Stretch the Sky, and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South. Her collection, The Language of Shedding Skin, was published as part of the Editor’s Select Series for Main Street Rag. She currently lives in Houston.

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