Poem by Tiffany Austin

Approximation of a Woman

after Proxemics: Personal Space/Commanding Stance, 2015 by John Beadle and inspired by Valerie June’s rendition of ‘Bring It on Home to Me’

Faced in
bird as hair

part cathedral and placed on
half mesh

the fists above
the hip, somewhere in the middle

Sam Cooke is singing “Bring It on Home to Me”
to her

boned by paper
back of wood

unspoken for
sliver of an image

rust for heartspoilt peach colored
leading to the neck russet

to mouth peeled
and inner ear

the scent of
unwetted sweat, “yeah.

Tiffany Austin currently teaches rhetorical and creative writing at the University of The Bahamas. She has published poetry in African American Review, Callaloo, Obsidian, pluck!, Valley Voices, and Sycorax’s Daughters, a speculative literature anthology. Her photo essay “A South in Sound” was also recently published in TriQuarterly.