by Susan Rich
The breasts of Kismayo assembled
along the mid-day market street.
No airbrushed mangoes, no
black lace, no under-wire chemise.
No half-cupped pleasures,
no come-hither nods, no Italian
centerfolds. Simply the women
of the town telling their men
to take action, to do something
equally bold. And the husbands
on their way home, expecting
sweet yams and meat,
moaned and covered their eyes,
screamed like spoiled children
dredged abruptly from sleep–
incredulous that their women
could unbutton such beauty
for other clans, who
(in between splayed
hands) watched quite willingly.
Give us your guns, here is our
cutlery, we are the men!
the women sang to them
an articulation without shame.
And now in the late night hour
when men want nothing but rest,
they fold their broken bodies, still
watched by their wives’ cool breasts
round, full, commanding as colonels–
two taut nipples targeting each man.