Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Rosary Prayers

Dyin ain’t pretty. Sure ain’t streets dyin. Pretty ain’t it. In multi-plex castles, Black women die, wrinkled, prayin for enemies, rockin dead weight. Praisin hard life. Lives lonely, lives. Many teared eyes, full drops. Rough hands ain’t neva been pretty. Ironin. Washin. Cookin. Spread table, legs, okra, hominy, mush. Vines, faces twisted. Eyes redd up. Woulda.  Coulda. If lovin a Black man is a full stomach: malnutrition stalks Black women. If basics, held jobs. Mothers, so many, on knees. Arched hearts. Spines bent, heavy vessels. Laid down. Love no more. Love unknown songs of mothers. Restricted to marches. For mothered sons. Not plenty lovin. Black women lovin canned tight. Untouched on sale shelves. Hardened, faded. Run away lovin. Caught in snared lives. Chalk bags stuffed. Muffled screams. Knuckled heads, fists, faced palms out. A wasted submission. Lovin dyin ain’t pretty. Black women’s hearts—

Bonita Lee Penn, a Pittsburgh poet, received her MFA from Lesley University. Her works have appeared in The Massachusetts Review, Women Studies Quarterly, Pittsburgh City Paper, RUNE Literary Journal, Voices from the Attic the Madwomen the Attic Anthology. She is active in the Pittsburgh literary scene; volunteers as the facilitator of UMBRA/Pittsburgh, a monthly poetry workshop.