Search for it — not the touch of a woman
But — womanist touch. The known art
Why we do — did, done for . . . Why we
Spar so hard, not to do what’s required
To do out of spite. Of no reason, no
Legalist's rhyme. We just want to let go.
Still, we search for us — we tied up in hoods
False blush. Lipstick draws our lips thin
Crusted pencil lead has filled a journal of
Questions. Rebuttals jello, jiggles when
We scamper in our light — doing our thang.
— Bonita Lee Penn
Bonita Lee Penn is a poet and workshop facilitator (Pittsburgh/Umbra Writers Workshop) and recipient of the 2015 Hurston/Wright Founding Members Award for College Writers (poetry). She volunteers as managing editor of Soul Pitt Quarterly Magazine and as poetry editor of Sling Magazine (online) out of New York City. She recently completed her master’s of fine arts degree from Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass. Her poetry has appeared in Voices from the Attic Anthology and Three Rivers Run Deep Anthology, and is forthcoming in journals such as The Massachusetts Review, Women Studies Quarterly and other online literary magazines. She lives in Manchester. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Saturday morning on 90.5 FM.