Maybe I am being sensitive but when

C is teaching our Sunday morning Black-Lesbians-

Only-Group about silkworms, I become anxious.

We are curling over ourselves, watching 

through computer screens: a video of women’s hands 

laying out carpets and carpets of mulberry leaves 

for their tiny kin to gorge themselves on. 

Over and over again, layers of excessive 

nourishment, the love language of mothering I know 

like my own sore mouth. The silkworms 

shed, almost pink with new innocence, and

make a show of cocooning: wiggling around

figure-eighting the air, preparing for 

new-body-days, not knowing that everything ends here: 

steamed, boiled or baked in the 

hottest sun. The silk, carefully 

unstuck from the almost-was-wings,

is threaded into infinite loops 

while split screen a bombyx mori emerges

from its cocoon to find her mate waiting,

and soon enough, is laying a cluster of blond eggs.

The video ends and I stare at the other women

in blue light, we each open our mouths 

at the same time but only a groomed silence     flies out.

Maghan Baptiste
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