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
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
hitting every nerve ending before finally hitting
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.