Inspiration (You Make Me A Feminist)

When you find a good woman you should not let her go nor hold her (who says someone wants to be held?). I am no dead anchor to your sea, snapping waves, crushing coasts. Beautiful buoy, you have no siren song, who am I to say mermaid or manatee? I haven’t seen shore in so long (I gave up a life on land for the solace of water), but that never means I gave up fighting to find you, where we connect like land forms. They can pretend to understand your movements by stars but I must accept the nature of individual tides (sweep me up and down and down and down). We only learn to swim when thrown in your deep end (push me over the edge and I will surprise you).

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Meat

I’m a vegetarian and I ain’t fucking scared of him but he scares me with how he makes

me

want

his

meet me at the butcher

bring your cleaver

my intestines are yours to devour in a morbid love fashion

sir

like when you took

me

from

behind the stockyard we lay in the grass, our blood congealed like lies we told when forbidden

to

ever

taste like sunshine on a carcass

I keep you in jars in the back of my mind

I want you inside me but this is the only way that is acceptable without suspicion

I would eat you alive.

Open Note

Mama, you cannot put this beauty on a bookshelf and hope it will reinvent, regress, repress, and resist the changes that span my spine wrapped in elastic. I am grateful for this body the Good Lord gave me, but it’s plain to see that what you see is society so diabolical in decisions deemed downright basic for complacent souls on a carving block. I enrolled in the school of hard knocks when I decided my life might be destined for coffins a little early for the peace of mind I get when called sir; maybe this is unreasonable but people like you and I don’t know the words hate or crime when we are born. These fists take form but I can soar, and when my eyes light up like Chicago at night it’s because Jesus Christ Himself might’ve set this soul on fire, so put my birth certificate into the funeral pyre. Every day I decide to live a little higher, back a little straighter, chin up and stubbled like my Daddy’s. Don’t be mad at me because this is how your God made me, because some voices in the choir in heaven might need to crack for your Savior to really save thee. He spent time with lepers and prostitutes so why am I so shamefully relegated to minced words, sideways glances and picture perfect pretending? I am too beautiful for bookshelves, because this is my one life and it’s not for saving.

Afterschool

Your name is like smoke on enamel, teeth stained, perspiring palms and paper planes under our toes. Press pages, solvent, our arms they say are fire. Mouths move. You look down with my eyes. Press play. Can you pull this weight from my chest? Press my arms to my sides, you mean comfort, I mean silence, we mean grief and confusion and the color gray on our faces.  Stretch the weekends into my lifetime. I never observe without recognition like you.

Conestoga

Heavy hips, shielded eyes. We are paint on canvas skins, wrapped like laminate, illuminate, this is your face when revealed. The scream. Sit on your hands to keep them from reaching, respect, love across wood planks. I remember when you could not walk.