Mother Kali

I wanted to love my daughter in the way of a sweet

Madonna, my Moonchild nature well-suited caregiver.

She came to us fierce, furious, spitting spice and salt,

refusing my breast, reaching for him through night feedings..

She loves too hard, my mirror child, knows

her soul is her own. Motherhood has made me Monster.

Obstacles will be torched.

Cities will bow down. My daughter’s spirit,

a bonfire I dance around, shaking the heads

of those who would do her harm.


Factory Men

Men wear their factory blue,

an aphrodisiac. They smell of sweat,

work, a grimy smell like oil. 

Skin, factory-pale. Hands whittled 

from repetition. Callouses rub my thighs.


They have rhythm, fire in their eyes,

space all day to remember last night’s tousle

amidst damp sheets.

Something to look forward to, break up 

monotony of workdays. Like cold beer 

after a long shift. My lips, her lips, some kiss—

like weekend shots of whiskey.


Like the dancer at the bar slides 

her body against uniform-pant zippers.

Brimming with lust, pent up, flashing a wad

of twenties, running a hand down

skin tight parameters of crimson-clad hips. 


Some women throw themselves at factory men. 

Men with steady incomes, pension, men who deftly use 

their hands. Workingmen fit to burst

with need for something sensual, 

a red dress filled to the brim.

Christina Xiong is the author of Ghost Monogamies (Ghost City Press) and The Gathering Song (Finishing Line Press). Her work has appeared in Cotton XenomorphBrave Voices Magazine and others. Voted most likely to become a cult leader. One fiction professor predicted she would write “airport novels.” Tweets: @AzureXiong 

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