Red is What They Call Her by Keng Kola

i honestly don’t have time.
not for no unanswered calls
or ‘leave on read’ receipts.
i don’t want to run up in no girl house
you in your drawers stuffing your face
the bed’s a mess and so is her hair
and all three of us know why.
i don’t have time to swing nobody by they neck
and i damn sure don’t have time to get swung
like a rag doll,
pushed into a narrow hallway with acoustics
like the grand canyon
everybody in her raggedy building is all in our business
now i look crazy
swollen, bloodied mouth
with my hair pulled at the roots-
and her neighbors all wanna know why—
if you went to see your grandma,
why is your grandma talking about she ain’t seen you in a week?
how come our love can only be harvested
with the full moon?
why do you pretend that my love is not a hungry, vengeful beast?
why was that girl looking at me like i was the wolf?
what makes it so good
that you can’t just leave?
just leave.
why didn’t you just leave me alone?
now, Red is what they call her.
babygirl, is what you called her so often
that you couldn’t come home
and look me in the eye without tears.
who those tears really for?
now i’m a size-able woman.
but y’all done flung me around like a boomerang
after that fight
i can’t help but think she might feel
like one, too
Bitch, is what I called her.
and i bet you gonna call her, again, tomorrow.


Going by the pen name ‘Keng Kola’, Keng is a self-published author of various works, including five chapbooks and the full-length poetry book ‘BUSH PIG’. Keng was also a 2017 finalist for the Indie Author Legacy Awards’‘Rising Author’ award. Keng is a writer of fiction, poetry, and an enthusiastic student of her passions.

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