Jazmin Witherspoon – 3 POEMS

Instructions for Preventing Transgressions on Your Body

  1. Put on more clothing.
  2. Wear less clothing.
  3. Excavate your nostrils, examine 
    their contents like science projects.
  4. Feign flatulence.
  5. Easy on the makeup, don’t
    want to look like a cake.
  6. Brush up on tomboy culture
    and lean into it.
  7. Avoid conversations about sex
    food, drinks, literature, and money.
  8. Avoid talking about anything at all.
  9. Ask every man you meet Do you have
    a sister? A mother, at least? Envision
    I’m one of them, pertinent too,
    beyond this appetite for power.

When these precautions fail, attempt
the following:
Administer a slap, a kick, some physical show 
of displeasure or just sit up and scream 
Stop, please, stop


Stockholm Syndrome
You say my voice is just a touch sexy
Hindsight, the red flags are everywhere
You ask What brings you to the big apple
I’m not running from anything I lie
but I’m not the only one donning a disguise
your costume, a mentor and friend


Three nights
For three nights I deny my discomfort
cover my confusion when you confide
My wife doesn’t actually live here
Did you know my homegirl
told me you were like an uncle to her
So, on night one when you smack my ass
I reduce my shock to fun and games
fabricate your sincerity as you disarrange my life
Boys will be boys, even in their 60’s

Why did I make sure I was asleep
before you got off work after that
Why didn’t I get up in the middle
to pee or grab a sip of water
Why didn’t I leave

Femme Fatale
I want to be a Praying Mantis
to bite the heads off
every man who explores me
so ain’t no one left to keep count
of just how many there have been
no one to take what they ain’t paid for
with money, love, or blood
it’s not gone be me wondering if
what’s between my legs is all I’m made of
it’s not gone be me thinking about quotas
too high for one man, too low for another
It’s not gone be me out here on these streets
trying to feel power, less
pain, less like discarded chewing gum
less like I’ll never feel another touch
that made me want a replay

Oh, no, no, no
It shole ain’t gone be me
It’s gone be him
shamed I ain’t eat him
like nature intended

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