Erica Dawson

Mary, with swag

Mary said, I deserve a steed for this. The sex

that didn’t need bodies. This swag. No hip

craned nearly out its socket. Not one flex.




                        is when, down on my knees, my lip

            gets licked by Common Whitlow.        You must get

            comfortable, get both your hands dirty

            when thunderstorms play rough with wind. Just let

            it kiss you.


I was only half of thirty

when my body had its way with me. Much less

violent than you would think.               A kind of shame.

But what is change? 


                              Was I branded a new

woman? Was I a woman yet? I chew

myrrh now to soothe my throat.  Feeding, I press

my chest against his mouth and say my name. 


“Mary, with swag” first appeared in The Common, Issue 12 (2016).