Mother Tongue

Sometimes I wish

I was born white and blank.

My eyes survey the room in technicolor

Charlie Chaplin spectrum of silence.

I scream and

water pours out

of my mouth

My hands clutch

my face

everyone turns

and stares.

The dark man

in the back

winks

but smiles white.

My colors are spilling

out.

I’m asked to clean it up

handed a sieve.

I fill the porous container

and stumble towards the window.

A river trails behind me

Iridescent scars slashed across the floor.

I try to throw it

out the window

but the sieve is empty.

I laugh.

Then I sing

a kaleidoscopic downpour

and I douse myself with it.

(Published in “Hell Bitches #3”  via Radish 2017 & “Seven Countries Poetry Anthology” via Arroyo Seco Press 2017)

Originally published on 06/03/2016

 

Who Were You?

The silk nightgown hung loose ending
just above your knees
as you frantically run between bedroom and closet.
You have a house now, all your own.
And two dogs, all your own.

You’re not married,
but you were never one for

emotionless paperwork.
You have five children,
just like your mother.
And you can make people laugh,
just like your father.
You have green eyes of the emerald isle,
yet the life behind them is from a different place.

Who were You?
What names were you called by?
What were your hopes, dreams,
Regrets?
What drove you?
Who were you?

I see the Annie in the pictures with the pink.

I see the Anne in green.
I see the wife in white,
and the mother in red.

But who were you?

I know the stories.

Do you see yourself in me?
Were you, too, the square whose that hurts itself
moving like a circle?

You have seen me as I was, am, and will be.
But who were you?
Is Annie gone never to return?
Will I see her on the street and not recognize her?
Would I like her?
Would she like me?

love me?

When were you divided?
The woman sawed in half,
The hopeless housewife,
The interrogator,
The stubborn independent,

The befriender.

Who were you?

So furiously standing alone,

Yet
So desperately wishing someone would hold you,
stroke your hair, and tell you it would get better.

I see myself in you.
I love you, with my voice, my soul.
You still wear that nightgown,
but you have long since shed that skin.

(Published in the Matrix Feminist Literary Magazine 2009)

Pretentious Bitch

I love the sound of my own voice
step aside, get behind
get below me
increase the power
tone, volume, inflection,
remove the filter
and let it all pour out.

 

I would like to see
you
try and stop
me.
I love myself now
so much so
I like my strut, my gut,
My hands, plans,
My smarts, stupids, and the in-betweens.

My mind is my closest companion,
my ego my cockiest friend.

What more do I need,
your sorrowful plead,
So I can make the same mistake again?

No. I can choose now.

I Shall Urinate in the Men’s Bathroom!

I shall urinate in the men’s bathroom!
I shall read Maxim magazine,
I shall reclaim colors like blue and black,
and maybe even green.

I will drink beer while watching football,
play Halo 3 with SK3W,
confess to peers the worst of sins,
while watching pornography too.

I will shout the obscenest of words,
like VAGINA and UTERUS,
CLITORIS, TITTIES, and PERIODS,
though I’m sure there’s some that I missed.

Hunting, fishing, biking, hiking,
all of these I claim.
I shall urinate in the men’s bathroom!
I will make everything the same.

(Winner of the 2009 Toyon and Sherry Debrowski Prize for Best Feminist Multi-Genre Fiction)