(All writing published here is owned by me unless cited otherwise.)
Often, you call me up in the morning as soon as you’re awake and you say hey how are you did you sleep well when can I pick you up wear those shorts with the buttons please for me?
And I laugh and feel light about you and I say hey give me forty minutes I need a shower
But you say no sweetheart just take a shower with me
So i see you seven minutes later, long enough for mascara and clean underwear and I’m brushing my hair with my fingers in your car and you’re waiting for me to finish so you can hold my hand while you speed around the most dangerous turn, one hand on the wheel if I’m lucky.
And there are some days these things happen and I am in love
But there are others I am an angry claustrophobic drunk and I feel sick to look at you.
Those days when I get into your car and kiss you, it is out of habit only. Those days I hate myself and you and the stuck I am feeling
The neurosis between the slant-eyed impulse to escape and the ache of injury to you.
I settle for emotional distance only and close my eyes early
face turned on instinct to the window.
I don’t know what you’re feeling, I tune you out and my volcano insides harden in that hostility
But I wake up curled around your body like a baby afraid of being dropped.
Because It’s everyday I feel alone
in another layer of the atmosphere
if both of your hands,
all of your fingers
are not on me,
I have an incredible memory for your body
and my body
For your body, my memory is miraculous
I can’t remember my left from right but
I know the curl of your fingers on my neck
My nerves are supposed to stop at my follicles but
The places your eyelashes brushed the split ends of my hair
You used to whisper Lolita,
my sweet Lolita child
while your fingers crept inside me,
gluttonously conscious of their potential for brutality.
I’ve been hungry for everybody who has desired me
But he calls me Aphrodite
Who knew the ancient sex and sway
No ingenue’s inexperience
Or baby’s ignorance
He calls me Aphrodite
I have never been weak
Or vulnerable to your roughman hands,
To your hardness
I’ve never been afraid the way you were.
"it lay in my palm soft and trembled
as a new bird and i thought about
authority and how it always insisted
on itself, how it was master
of the man, how it measured him, never
was ignored or denied, and how it promised
there would be sweetness if it was obeyed
just like the saints do, like the angels
and i opened the window and held out my
uncupped hand; i swear to god
i thought it could fly”
- Lorena, by Lucille Clifton
Born with the moon in Cancer
Choose her a name she will answer to
Call her green and the winters cannot fade her
Call her green for the children who have meade her
Little green, be a gypsy dancer.
He went to California
Hearing that everything’s warmer there
So you write him and letter and say, “Her eyes are blue.”
He sends you a poem and she’s lost to you
Little green, he’s a non-conformer.
Just a little green
Like the color when the spring is born
There’ll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow
Just a little green
Like the nights when the Northern lights perform
There’ll be icicles and birthday clothes
And sometimes there’ll be sorrow.