Kima Jones

Every Kiss a War Cover Kissing Booth

how to write the black cowgirl

By Kima Jones

saddleless and in search of water
or with a grain of wheat sheared by her back teeth
or knocking dust from her boots in the front yard
or skinning trout with a hook knife
or several days without even a sliver of cactus
or discovering the slippery bowels of a scorpion
or a half-formed compass drawn in sand
or dry tongued and breathing through her nose
or the dank red kerchief shielding the back of her neck
or rescued from the gallows, biding time behind sand dunes
or reunited with her black-eyed mare, Albatross
or her shaved head blistered like the skin of an orange
or not making it back in time with water
or her woman’s brown body thrown onto the truck bed
or up to her elbows in earth and burial
or swearing off the drink for good, sobering atop her woman’s grave.

Kima Jones is a 2013 PEN USA Emerging Voices fellow in poetry. She lives in Los Angeles and is writing her first poetry collection, The Anatomy of Forgiveness.