November 29, 2017

Hair Cut 

Your mom was the kind of person

who forgot the leftovers on the stove—

she didn’t even flinch opening the door, 

my hands twist-tangled in your long, girl

hair, your striped, Target t-shirt crumpled

beside us on the floor—a small monument

to matching bodies, to hold...

November 22, 2017

Vagina Fights Back

It’s itchier than usual, so I sit cross-legged 

on a crosshatched chair in a bright hallway, 

waiting on the lady doctor’s nurse to collect me. 

A bowl filled to over-flowing with red-wrapped condoms 

beside a pamphlet about first-time motherhood. 

I’m not...

October 24, 2017

Big Zero

Bitter

Frightened little girl

Incested

Body through soul

Repressed

By sanctioned patriarchy

Imposed 

Unwelcome maternity

Breeding 

For christianity

Bleeding

Internal wounds buried

Resentful

Mother of my being

Venemous

Verbal toxins stinging

Unfit 

Tainted matriarch 

Branded

Impur...

October 18, 2017

UNBROKEN

They bless the beast unbroken. Virgin limbs

to leather, wrists and ankles first to squeeze 

inside a strap.  Your feral glint goes dim

too quickly once you feel the trap. The pleas,

an easy emulation cover rage,

and panic, frustration.  Subdued by lash

until surrende...

September 29, 2017

A Stain in the Shape of a Cigarette Burn

After Kim Yideum

Had my Mother known both of her daughters would be childless & queer/Would she have found the last wire hanger/Riverside, California/Put on her stiletto heels and Passion-Pink lipstick/& found another man to Step-...

September 11, 2017

Where’s my independence?

1947 brought a different independence

Than the novella in my head:

Where heroines dressed like themselves

But were accorded the valor of heroes.

Where an aimless drifter was a woman with matted hair

But the word “witch” did not exist in village air

Wh...

September 8, 2017

The Hanging Man

I look at the bat

but he doesn’t look at me

it’s August 

and things are breaking.

I put an egg in a cup

my neighbor’s daughter gives me basil

I cry, with no reason or want.

Desire is dead,

and my arms hang by my sides

like two gently loosened threads.

I look at th...

August 17, 2017

(Image Source)

How I learned to thread a needle

I don’t remember her teaching me how

to thread a needle.  Yet I see her today —

a basket at her side filled with spools 

of many colors, buttons of many shapes, 

snaps of several sizes.   A length of thread 

in hand, she pl...

July 24, 2017

(Image Source)

Her Hair Like Ivy

The ivy grows stronger in neglect,

scales the walls, becomes reptilian:

beauty does that, unleashes like

the uninherited. This is why she cut

off the wave of her hair in one stroke

and held it out like freshly caught prey.

But her father sent h...

EMPTY

Baby-making season has come and gone, again.

Young women who drank Moscato and complained

of glass ceilings have become heavy breasted,

their children’s dinner always within reach.

As a child, I dreamt of babies, bottles, booties.

There was a flow chart with marriage a...

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