what is this woman ceding human wanting giving thing


perhaps the definition of it is a strip small cotton or grass and water through the holes in our skin where  it is not to be handled lightly without some clear sound a small body getting sticky shine her and she be peeling layers of cloth from her mouth her elbows bent inwards color eating hair slicked cold the bare black feet the sigh of after all that convulsion and my sternum dusted with manna squirm and rest chin and warm


perhaps its on the spectrum

a coin          first yellow then

                                     begonia        blush

     spoils of it jelly edges controlling

  slick cheek    my nipples

spilling forth burlywood

          sacs to catch

                  her one chore          want her mouth

                                                    all bony ridge

                                to eat of me all of her



Perhaps this Weight

Must be muscle

And vein

This dampness must

Be Kernel Berry

Or Spore our spines

Some Fiber a god

Coils into

Strips as Fragile as

Thread a Motion

Oozy with fevid

Humping him teasing

The rightness of

Mess us

Wreathed writhing


Stranger does

He place

Inside perhaps a

Cure will

He leave


perhaps fingers

    flex or pinch

   up towards an out

            my ball of navel

          orange ballooned as

       what must be segmented

           Into joint capillary weft

                warping its stone core

                       past sternum or intent

                    we dance my baby girl

                   waddling from one room

                to one crux the nub of it

           candle counting sweat wax

                pillow tossed pain to get

                      given and soon and drift

                   and curl and weave


perhaps tell

hers are hims to her tomorrow

her round abdomen pink

and skirt a hollow dressing where pollan

powders bent heads rice

that weaves us for twine and ease simple

kike her mouth with candy

barrette in sword in hair

cause you born


child born of

girl child

be every


To Read More Birth Stories, Get Your Copy of Oh Mama!



Nikia Chaney - Nikia Chaney is the current Inlandia Literary Laureate (2016-2018).  She is the author of us mouth (University of Hell Press, 2018) and two chapbooks, Sis Fuss (2012, Orange Monkey Publishing) and ladies, please (2012, Dancing Girl Press).  She is founding editor of shufpoetry, an online journal for experimental poetry, and founding editor of Jamii Publishing, a publishing imprint dedicated to fostering community among poets and writers. She has won grants and fellowships from the Barbara Demings Fund for Women, and Cave Canem.  Her poetry has been published in Sugarhouse Review, 491, Iowa Review, Vinyl, and Pearl, Welter, and Saranac. www.nikiachaney.com