Shaina Phenix

& they smell like oil used too many times—you know
the kind—still as dying in a browned & sticky plastic
container anchored on the kitchen counter. You know
the chicken grease, the porkchop grease, the fish grease,
the sometimes burnt & still her good grease. We pray to
our mothers who art & water, hallowed by the names
they gave us. We pray, meet us at this stovetop, at
the round arm of the skillet, its black skin bubbled
like baby mouths. We pray, meet us at the beginning
of everything, when a little black somebody learns to fry
chicken. We pray, an altar of greased scalps and easter
We leave our offerings. We prepare the meat
the way 
we were taught, snap the wing, relish the song
of a crack thats 
sounds like the clap of hands in the sanctuary.
We stick 
the tip behind the drum, slather it in seasoning salt,
garlic powder, black pepper, spicy brown mustard,
hot sauce. We avalanche flour into supermarket bags, shake
the contorted corpses, give them ready skin. We powder
& drizzle against the libidinous oil, wait for the fizz, for
the fryer’s consent. We pour our wings into the welcome of
heat. We prophesy the brown to come—the golden crinkles
to decorate our plates. We eat      & the skillet sops up our invocation.