wicked alice| fall 2010

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Khadijah Queen

 from Cuniculus







There was a time when I lived in a cave of milk. 


A frisson inside, clabbered skin

humming, I drank nothing when thirsty, gorged

when full, drank until my pores leaked.


I was addicted to constant suffering.

The endless, creamy fumes:


I smoked and smoked and smoked it.


I loved to pat my stash.







I smelled a burning.





(multifactual chimera)





There are babies in the fireplace. I don't see them but I know

they're there. Someone keeps singing them to sleep. 





A long time ago a woman had to give up her milk.

Nevermind the children. She wrapped her breasts with gauze until

they ached with drying.  A long time ago. She pulled all the wild

poppies. Boiled the leaves in a stew and ate every stem

raw. Wrapped herself with her own thinning

arms and wept






A perilous fillet of a body moaned from the earth.


When it started weeping, I fed it sugar and smoke and bathed it in milk. 

When a coriander of flesh started to form, I understood the green

as rhythm. 


Sang it right to sleep.




(purification: wolf moon)




I stood in the earth's skull & swept

my fur skirts clean, I grew tall

& taller, shed the dust,

shed supple hunch, crown of wild

dandelion & ate it; humid breath

stretched my weedy neck & bent

my arms into scythes: blue-tongued

& sharp-mouthed, I stood

between beasts & thorn trees & waited:




I heard a howling, but did not run

I heard a howling, but did not run

I heard a howling, but did not run



Khadijah Queen is the author of Conduit  (Black Goat/Akashic Books 2008). She lives in Tampa, FL.