You come with your daughter,
the knee hugger, the grimy nailed tree climber,
who demands with queenly command
at least two Hershey bars
and you, you did not expect this unnecessary expense,
so you pocket your creased $100 in 20s
and hand over instead your plastic,
still in the paper sleeve it came in
when you first came to this golden America,
25 years ago.
Here, you put bread on the table,
hopefully when it’s on sale,
and you disdain the coupon books,
but you sure wish milk wasn’t $5 a gallon.
Working for BMW, working for Honda,
working for Chevy, working for FORD,
you put on the uniform of whoever will take you.
This is not prostitution, you think:
this is a living— good and honest.
She loves chocolate, and you are the father
who will change flat tires to provide them.
There are deep sighs at the supermarket,
and the pharmacy, and the dentist,
watching your life”)’s savings tremble
between too little and just enough,
but when the cashier asks you how you are,
you think that she looks a little like your daughter,
and reply that you really can’t complain.
He told me how much
he loves me. I howled
into the pillow.
of jagged fingernails
through the skin of my back
is nothing in comparison.
Pain brings warmth, and
with warmth comes
I’ve craved nothing
more than to throw myself
into the womb of an open
furnace, to be showered
with hot coals, to press
my body closer, closer
to any vessel offering
but a flicker of a flame.
Orgasm is transcendence.
Whispering and kissing.
Hysteria and violence.
He wrapped both hands
around my throat.
I wanted to be silent
for him. I wanted to be
I surrender my breath
and my blood, wholly.
The bruises melt
from pink to plum.
Water Lilies by Claude Monet
This is the year that I outlive my parents’ marriage:
I am a day older than the union that prophesied my creation,
my bones surviving the armageddon that should have reverted them
to the blood and bile from which they were formed.
What I am is really stolen calcium, one dual strand of holy coding,
crow’s feet on my father’s face, my mother’s hidden grey hair.
My bed is full and warm, and my mother’s bed is half empty,
while my father sleeps for the first night away from the house
that he bought to raise his children in—
my genetics are so misspelled, if I am the product of such loss,
that I will collect lovers like tarot cards, with a cheapness,
never able to trust time to a partner after watching 18 years rot,
like wedding silver crusting over, like lace beginning to stiffen and crack.
Why I live longer than the happiness that should be still,
my palms do not read for me to see,
though I chase the veins from my chest to my wrists,
there is no road that returns me to the womb before I was a being.
The truth is that I am not any better than my father,
whose three daughters will outlast his two vow-made unions:
I am not so kind, nor patient, nor enduring as he,
nor do I have any hope ever to be,
and I pray my selfish wishes away, that his joy far out-shadow mine.
Fathers wish that their daughters will live more fully than they have,
and I, a daughter, pray that he have more, at least, than I.
It has been a long while since I have written him any poetry,
which is a testament to the strength of the withered, and newly blooming,
a statement that I am not willing to give my bone-etching love
to the boy who believes that he is the prophet of his good fortune.
I think I am the best news the angels deliver:
when I make love, I become blind and reduced, steam like sugar.
I become a single mouth to gasp from,
two unsteady hands to give without expectation,
and still there are lovers in this world who never love sober.
My prophecy is that I am delicious, like nectar from the spoon
that begs to be licked,
that I am not ready for anything that I do not want to be ready for.
My goosebumps become Latin,
my eyelashes become the dislocated moons
of the planets where all tragedy and rebirth comes from.
When he writes poetry about the thing that is missing,
I put that thing between my lips and hum as if it’s a harmonica.
I never learned to play, but if I am trusting and sure, I can make a music
that will be more innocent than violin, more violent than a drum.
My voice becomes the exhale of a deep and clean relief,
because my poetry is the unconscious orgasm he cannot claim.
It has been a while since I have written him poetry,
but my pleasure does not cease with his eviction from my mind:
I write poetry for myself. I do it all the time.
The nocturne that has allowed me to wade into sleep for years of restless, lack-lustre nights.
theme by: heloísa teixeira