“Pit” by Leela Chantrelle

Leela Chantrelle


for Gwendolyn Brooks

We made of labor we body like queen ants we contain destinies we expel we made of pasta we of starch we of what will be fat we of the sweat that clouds the eyes but pleases the mouth we birth exertion like white sharks make predators we ready to attack we skin we white teeth the world into our bodies we bloom carbs we made of an X-ray we diagnosis we decide to create and then to explode and create again and again we purpose our stomachs we become a fighting dog we rabid in our bodies we eat unborn generations we contain whales singing a cyst into reality we bring life where there is usually future we cave our bodies from inside we evaporate while scratching we crawl existence we real genetics we sad from within we made of woman screaming nipples into reality we screaming curves alive we glow uterus we sway scales we tip balances we dare a chair to break we break

from Rattle #69, Fall 2020


Leela Chantrelle: “As I was teaching a poetry unit to my ninth-graders last year, I came upon this realization about Gwendolyn Brook’s ‘We Real Cool.’ I had taught this poem numerous times before, but something about 2019 made me see how she was using words and transforming them into verbs. I then thought about my body or the female body in general and ways that it too might transform words into verbs.” (web)

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