Thea Matthews

RAIN LILIES | Zephyranthes grandiflora


Born and raised in San Francisco, CA, Thea Matthews earned her BA in Sociology from U.C. Berkeley where she studied and taught June Jordan's Poetry for the People. Her work is featured in Tilde Issue 3/ Thirty West Publishing House, Digging Through The Fat/ Digging Press, For Harriet's Soar, The Feminist Wire, and For Women Who Roar, among others.


& one day you’ll read the lines on my face

know the lawlessness under my skin     in my bones


& you’ll know the silence each crevice holds

from the black of my blood to the plaque behind molars


the scars of finding gold. You’ll see me shine

like a glass case of knives


& you’ll know the sharpness of each tooth

how children speak with knotted tongues


how men in power lost control of their hands

how bystanders became politicians.


I tore skin ran across the plains  

sought the Pacific rested near redwoods


I am the flowers of west wind.



FUCHSIA | Fuchsia magellanica


Believe me.


My cracked lips & stained tongue

a burning stomach in a no-backbone bedroom

did not deter the swift flight of endurance

the remembrance of sweetness / of survival.


Hummingbirds came once I tasted my

tears   yet sometimes I still close my eyes

to the Sun. I see the glaring red

of my florid skin    swollen inside

irritated infected from

pesticides     the warmth of invasion

of his cold fingers inside. 


I cry   growl    slice arteries with teeth.

I wrestle with the treachery of  men  until

I        twirl prayers into beads of nectar 

break the hex of hatred    

ground the betrayal into fertile land.


I grow from fingers over lips

the whispers of  sssshhhh…don’t tell no body.

Today my mouth like legs rests wide open.


Believe me.  

(He knew someone would)

Fuschia first appeared in Snapdragon:  A Journal of Art and Healing

The Acentos Review 2019