Spotlight: my sister-wife

chews on the strange stillness of his quiet unravel. she knows
the undoing—like thread—will be slow & always.

same as when he first moved inside of me—i remember. the both of us
wide open, one exhale after the other scrawled between my legs.

the ground sweats against my foot, familiar with the work.
all things come to & from but knowing this will not keep me

from digging into his brother. i too have learned to chew. suck in salt. crack
my jaw. open & spit out the shell. nothing is safe. nothing is sacred.

i wonder where the water went. lay my palm against my bone.
berate the mangled hair. paddle along my heavier thighs. whine

with my hips rusted over & unattended to. weep for where
the dents of his teeth were. faint lesions on the cuff of my ashy legs.

out of necessity. each night turns out like this. out of necessity.


Faylita Hicks is a black queer writer, mobile photographer, and performance and Hip-Hop artist from San Marcos, TX. She was the 2009 Grand Slam Champion of the Austin Poetry Slam. In 2018, she was an inaugural Open Mouth Readings Writing Retreat participant and was awarded a SAFTA Residency. Her poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, The Rumpus, Glass Poetry Press, Kweli Journal, Cosmonauts Avenue, Matador Review, American Poetry Journal, and others. Her visual art has been exhibited in the Texas State University Common Experience Gallery and featured in Five:2:One art and literary print magazine. She received her MFA in creative writing from Sierra Nevada College’s low residency program and lives in San Marcos, TX.

Photo Credit: Alison Papion