For the Soul

after fat girl by caira lee

By Bird Jackson


Two weeks into Africa

Waist-deep in slender, slanted Arabic

Fat girl misses comfort food.

Summ Southern you know?


That three cheese macaroni

does not call once to check in, despite its promises.

Sweet cornbread and cooked collards

are not here for her to wrap her tongue round.

Thought she was running to summ–

running to the beginning, but

even sitting in the crown on Big Mama fivehead,

Fat Gurl still can’t seem to taste



Is craving the thick clever fingers

of dark glazed baby back ribs

the sound of kitchen knife through watermelon

haunts her belly button

and Fat Gurl’s host family be throwing home girl bowls

of pretty new names and mind blowing flavors, but

Fat Gurl greedy

Fat Girl want hush puppies

want arroz con pollo y maduros

want all the juices runnin down both her chins

Fat Girl

misses chicken and waffles, BUTTERED to core

sweetened with rivers of syrup,

dark gold and filling and warm

Baked sweet potatoes w/ w/ w/

BUTTER… brown sugah-sprinked–

Fat Girl reaches brown sugar fingers for

any trace of home wherever she can.

But here, she is not allowed to suck them clean.

She remembers chop cheeses at the bodega

pork chops heaped with hot sauce,

curried chicken over fluffy white rice

Sweet Tea

hitting every nerve ending before finally hitting

the spot.

Double (triple) chocolate brownies,

two scoops of vanilla stacked one on top of the other, sinking sweet and lazily into that dark bread….

Fat Girl is drooling now.

Day dreamin bout comfort

Counts the daze till she can wrap herself up in the wings of a southern fried chicken

Bird Jackson is a twenty year old poet originating from Newark, New Jersey. She spent a year slamming for the College of Wooster on KnowEye Slam, and went on to create Ra Poetry Collective. She is currently studying migration and Arabic in Morocco, researching and working with slam teams in Rabat to explore the use of poetry slam as a mode of expression across the diaspora.