She had a slick mouth. When she spoke, gasoline and cod liver oil flushed out of her smooth as velvet. He could not walk by, without her saying impossibly wild things about his shoes, his mama, the shirt he wore when the iron ran cold. No one could out shit-talk that blk girl with the sharp slits in her face for eyes. One time she blinked too fast and he caught a buck fifty across the face. Why is you bleeding, she’d say as she used that tar-slick mouth to mend his cuts like warm asphalt on an unpaved road. After she nursed the wounds, she’d fix her mouth into petals all over his back and neck. The aged augite of his flesh rolled over her own, and she felt like she could make love to this man for as long as the sun steeped itself through the Earth. They’d lay on the water-stained mattress and she would hum songs she heard on the radio right through his sleeping chest. She rapped Method Man’s verse off You’re All I Need thirty-two times as he snored, his breathing tuned to the meter of a honey-bee. The day she saw with her lover decaying on the street like four hour-old road-kill, her narrow eyes pulled dry dry as a razor blade. She watched the caution tape strung like Christmas lights all around his blk, and almost blue, body. The girl tried to fix that slick mouth to say something foul and smart-assed. But he just laid there, bled out like he had no home training. She screamed his name and every white face looked right through her. Like she wasn’t speaking the Queen’s English. Like the boy she loved wasn’t even real. Isn’t that what being a blk girl is all about? Letting the boy you made strong disappear at the hiss of a bullet, knowing that he is a temporary sweetness that your mouth cannot laminate with teflon? Then you are over his body smackin’ your gums, swinging your neck, wondering why the sound of your voice isn’t making him get his blk ass up?