My Sex Wet
Who saw the sticky tie itself To my navelMy hair the color of damp sand nowBecause I made it that wayLethargic, because I was made that wayForcep baby, forced into my lifeTrying constantly to omit myself back Into the body My sex wet In Mama's gut Because, yes.Not sure if I wanted to be hereNow I change cities every couple of yearsIt's a cessation whenever I'm touched
From “My Sex Wet” as it appears in The Collection Plate: Poems by Kendra Allen Copyright © 2021 by Kendra Allen.
Excerpted by permission of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins.
Kendra Allen is the author of The Collection Plate and essay collection When You Learn the Alphabet. Born and raised in Dallas, Tx, she loves laughing and leaving. Her work can be found on and in Repeller, The Paris Review, The Rumpus, and more. Fruit Punch, a memoir, will be released in 2022.
"Gospel traditions, erotic need, African American vernacular English and plenty of blank space on well-organized pages. . . . Allen excels—like Clifton, like Robert Burns—as she shifts into and out of standard English."
—New York Times Book Review
"The Collection Plate introduces Kendra Allen as a poet to watch. . . . Allen shines a light on the spaces that connect and divide us, coalescing into an electric portrait of joy and pain."
"The Collection Plate is as close as we can get to those looming Black spaces beyond and before language. A book shouldn't be able to do this but Kendra Allen is a conjurer as much as she is one of the most complete writers we have ever read."
—Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy and Long Division