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Rosa Ponton, Le plaçage de sucre and Wild women sing the blues

Le plaçage de sucre

by Rosa Ponton

They called me sugar from the moment I was forced into the world, pulled bloody and screaming from between strained brown thighs, before I had even opened my eyes to witness the angels crying for my soul, they wanted me to be sugar. White and sweet and lucrative. I was going to put food on porcelain plates gently handled by black hands encased in white gloves. I was going to buy cream silk and expensive amber whisky. I was going to be the sugar in their morning coffee and their afternoon tea. I was made into a dream for a sweeter life when Papa laid Maman up in a sagging bed and filled her to overflowing with his whiteness, making life as vigorously as theirs had beaten them down. If they could make sugar, they would be able to eat easy and laugh at the times when they depended on Maman to find a few coins with her mouth or the dark river between her legs. Sugar would be the cure for the sickness of poverty. If they could make sugar, they would be able to walk with shoulders pressed back against the cold eyes of the street with indifference. As I search the cracked mirror now, I see their success blooming in the tinted cream of my skin, hanging onto the plump curve of my pink lips, glowing darkly in my hazel eyes. Maman has brushed out my black curls into crashing waves, and I am left shipwrecked, wishing that I could melt like sugar in water and disappear. Tonight, sugar goes to gilded ballroom market warmed by candlelight, dressed in white and crystal, refined and pure for the hard and hungry.

Wild women sing the blues

by Rosa Ponton

Wild, you just

wild, woman!

Wild cotton

puffs of licorice

your halo, angel

of women freed, you

practice what you speak

into existence, no lies

or signifyin’, you speak

truth to those who want

to hear and truth

to those that don’t.

They want you wild, woman

until you are their woman,

want your mouth open

wider than birthing hips,

your snatch tighter

than fresh corn rows,

and your ass fatter

than a greedy spring sow.

But, ha! Baby, baby, baby,

they don’t know

you breathe blues

deeper than new bruises,

tender jet dollops mottling

a dusky rind.

Strange how

the hard hand presses

damaged flesh

with relish, testing

the depth of pain,

searching the boundaries,

where injury and resilience

meet, seeking to release

the power that was once

so sweet. Wild woman! That man

don’t even know,

those blues you croon so

soulfully, don’t weigh on you.

Wild women?

Nah, baby.

Wild women don’t get the blues.

Bio Rosa Ponton is a Louisiana born Spanish Instructor for Grambling State and Southern Universities. She holds Bachelors' degrees in English and Spanish from Howard University, a Masters' degree in Spanish from Virginia Tech, a MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University, and is completing the last year of her Ed.D in Education Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University. She now resides in Tulum, Mexico where she is building her creative businesses and living in her purpose.

Listen to Rosa Ronton's SOREN LIT interview:

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