Sex, Kink, and the Erotic: Two Poems by Khalisa Rae

Fire and Brimstone Bodies

my skin remembers the kiln; the bake- lust
animal gnawing at my hip. the glowing,
torch-stricken thing I couldn’t quit. how i begged for
water, to cool the sun-drunk daze and bad decisions.
tossing bodies around in a funk-filled perfume. how
we always regret it in the morning. that brimstone
they said was after us finally caught up. nothing like
a heatwave to hangover demons, the light refuse to
cast out. a dash of sage
and holy water, lather cocoa butter- say it was a bad,
bad dream. the way we tore each other apart and
stitched each other back together with fire.

The Body Does a Praise Dance and the Ass Says Amen

& you never deserved this clap n’ quake
anyway but while I’m down here hand
me a towel
dab my forehead, catch my sweat, hold my
hair back while I bend & shake. why men
always the ones that drool at the rattle & bass drum like a
teething toddler? pick up your jaw boy, this ain’t for you.
never has been. I want to see how low
I can bring my body to the ground, and deliver

it to the sky again. to dirty whine & roll my hips is
to exorcise demons. to cast out the fuckery from the
day by the fire‘n my slide lean & grind. so let me
sage this sticky floor before the lights come on at 2.
applaud me. tell me I did good
& slide a dirty bill in my g-string. compensate me

for how I pirouette on the pole and sway into a grand plie.
Praise me for the way my booty pop powders the ground with
glitter and twirls
so fast it makes you want to commit to it.

About Khalisa Rae

Khalisa Rae is a poet and journalist in Durham, NC, and author of Real Girls Have Real Problems chapbook. Her poetry can be seen in Crab Fat, Damaged Goods, Hellebore, Terse, Sundog Lit, PANK, Frontier, Tishman Review, Occulum, the Obsidian, among others. She is the winner of the Bright Wings Poetry contest, the Furious Flower Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize, the White Stag Publishing Contest, among others. Currently, she serves as Managing Equity Editor at Carve Magazine and Writing Center Director at Shaw University. Her debut collections, Ghost in a Black Girls Throat are forthcoming from Red Hen Press in April 2021 and White Stag Publishing Summer ’21.