Carol Muske-Dukes

Home-Boys: Baby & Me (a Sapphic)
November 13, 2011 Muske-Dukes Carol

Home-Boys: Baby & Me (a Sapphic)


Ex-gang members. Driveby days over. Zero

Tattoos, tagging. Sippy cups, hoodies. Baby

Daddies gather, stubble-cheeked, holding infants.

Rock-a-bye Central.


Awkward former enemies, rubbing elbows,

Slow-bounce babies: parachute cradle. X-nay

Gangsta language – A is for Apple, only.

Alphabet shakedown.


Toddler nap-time. Whispering pretty teen-age

Mothers. Foxy counterparts, purple lipstick,

Dreamy I-Pod lullaby, off-key. Next up:

Diapering for two.


Outside: L.A. traffic jam, backfires, smog-red

Sunset. Inside: recipes, meal plans, flowered

Hand-wipes, homemade. Tabletop mirror mirrors

Pick-up sticks, Windex.

Carol Muske-Dukes is a professor at the University of Southern California and a former Poet Laureate of California. She is an author of 9 books of poems – most recent is Blue Rose, which was a 2019 Pulitzer Prize short-list finalist.