Sheree Renée Thomas


Marrakesh with eyes the color of flat river stone, Marrakesh of the matted hair and buttered teeth, Marrakesh whose name the teachers mispronounce, ignoring the children’s prayer—Marra—keeesh, Marra—keeesh, the big black beast / Marra—keeesh, Marra—keeesh, the big black beast—the middle school mantra a fluttering moth in her head. Marrakesh whose stretch marks circle ashy thighs like plowed fields before rain, Marrakesh with eyes the color of flat river stone, is the girl who no one claims, befriends, sits alone eating her baloney sandwich with neither cheese nor mayonnaise to ease it down her throat, the throat where her true-true name is caught and the words dangle in spittle cobwebs, like leave me alone like stop hurting me like an unsung song, disremembered.

Marrakesh of the thrift shop clothes that never fit, of the disco rumpshaking hand-me-downs, decades old, discarded pieces of sequined tanks that catch, reflect the school’s fluorescent lights, the bellbottomed blues that her mama can no longer claim, wears her mama’s rumpshaking hand-me-downs, decades old, disfigured and floats down the halls, smelling like pussy.


on this night
we swat mosquitoes
eat falling stars
before they reach the earth
your love is silver
caught in my throat.

©2005 Sheree Renee Thomas

Sheree Renée Thomas is a Memphis native now living in New York. Her short stories and poetry have appeared in literary journals and anthologies, including Obsidian III, Harpur Palate, Mojo: Conjure Stories, Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, and So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction and Fantasy.