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Your hair spills around the elastic’s fringe

the way pomegranate juice seeps between


my lips. Not that red, no; more burnt-orange

kinky. The gods have blessed you with obscene


tastes. “Molha tua boca,” you say. Wet

your mouth. Yansa is your mother, her blood


runs — “Minha flor que arde” — in your sweat,

your heat. Your flower of flame. First the flood,


call it Spirit, then the fire — She warned you.

Not with the tongue — A kiss there and all hell


will break loose. She knew what that toothsome rose,

sleeping among your burnished curls, can do.


Lambe-me,” you say. Lick me. Make me swell.

Overflow. Let the world end with curled toes.



In Yoruba faith and religion the goddess Oya has many names; in Latin and South America she is called Yansa or Iansa, personification of fire, winds, violent storms, death and rebirth.