Fish Fry

Brionne Janae

sundays you whisk barefoot about the kitchen

fingertips gritty with fish fry

the cornmeal batter leaving itself

powdering the hips of your corduroys, your cheeks

blending with your hairline’s sweat.

cloaked like this, in the lazy kitchen heat

you feel most like Momma

guiding the flimsy fillets into the dancing grease

the meat of her fingers almost kissing

its surface — sometimes you even sing like Mo

your mercy lords lying over the humming oil

like hoodoo like blessing like some old rite

of passage. truly it was that first time

when you wanted home

fried fish more than you feared a blistering anointing.

when you decided not to wait on Momma or Mo

but to make a home of your body

the one you carry a little more like Momma

everyday. your feet turned out and bare

hips sauntering like a woman made from the heat

culled from the best of the fat spilling over into fire.

about the author