in the wood
the trees say hey baby,
so i’ve accepted my body
can’t be both safe & beautiful.

the trees are disheveled
slack-jawed men, backs
on a light posts’ lean,
their crotches branching
toward my night-soaked legs.

before i was followed
around markets now
i’m followed out of them.

in the wood
i want my body
to hear itself
between the trees.

the trees are suspicious eyes
& giggles of Black girls
talking fast & light
on the corner, their smiles
like the sky glinting
through an overhang.

in the wood
my body is
the buzzing & hum
of the trees.

the trees are the words
RELAX graffiti’d in
white spatter paint
& ungovernable vines.
the sun illuminates the message
like a distress call.

the rain cannot wash way roots,
as both come from the earth.

the wind barreling
in the wood
of no streetlights
teaches my body to lament.

jayy dodd