I am braless
Free and loose
Hair flowing and growing on legs and armpits
I am my self
No ancient patriarchal barriers imposed
My body

I am Comfortable
My womanhood exposed
Through t-shirt or pajama top
Soft cotton or lace
I am braless

Flabby or flat
Breasts rest on my chest
Skin to skin of my womb
My heart beats
Can you hear it?

Put you head on my chest
Rhythm of me
In my body
One less barrier between us

I am braless, open
Unchained, unrestricted
Not compelled to respond to expectations
A nurturer, Braless

Me, a flawed woman
Without a fix, clip or scaffold
Not much to undo, or release, yet
Harder to navigate

Viral Sustenance

My viral sustenance is you
flash of rainbow,
saltine cracker
a hummingbird lands on hot jacaranda branch
I write of hope and spiral downwards

What does my zodiac tell me about when
this will end, or if I will ever see you again,
my sunflower

Under crackling pressure my heart wobbles
call it not agony, this absence of you

Let’s not pretend there is no storm
of tears we subdue by beating them inwards

Let’s instead preserve our love
and press on madly
to a blind future together.

Karla Brundage is a Bay Area based writer. Founder of West Oakland to West Africa Poetry Exchange (WO2WA), she holds an MA in Education from San Francisco State University and an MFA from Mills College. She is a board member of Before Columbus Foundation. Her poetry, short stories and essays can be found in her collection Swallowing Watermelons, also Hip Mama, Literary Kitchen, Lotus Press, Bamboo Ridge Press, Vibe and Konch Literary Magazine. Her most recent projects include Colossus:Home with Sara Biel advocating for housing justice to support Moms4housing and a pan-Africanist poetry collection, Our Spirits Carry Our Voices. Visit West Oakland to West Africa or her personal site!
Oakland, CA

You can follow Karla on Twitter (here too!), Facebook, and Instagram!

Life in Quarantine: Witnessing Global Pandemic is an initiative sponsored by the Poetic Media Lab and the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford University.

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