had logo

February 24, 2023

the little death

Ashanti Renee

after Hozier’s “Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene”


through my five-year-old hands, I discovered the heavens,

toyed vertices of spinning planets.

I spread myself like the universe. with carcanets,  

my mama's brothers or lovers, an unkindness of cravens,

reached for my milk & blood. like Jesus,

I could heal with the hem of my dress,


so I became him, my seams thumbed to shreds. though hopeless,

I fed expectant men more, the good loaves,

without experience. every night I pray to be more human

than holy spirit, so I became Mary,

vesselized & venerated, immobilized

into their image of a willing woman.


instead, I rise & warm their wives, too, fresh

minds eased of curiosity from his peeling flesh