I cannot be Jane anymore
because it is a lie about
what women cannot do
who can tell us not to birth a nation
or to defeat an animal, befriend the jungle
we have done it and more
who are the voices behind a revolution
who are the bodies harnessed to kill
without a weapon
I stand with my dreams on top of possibility
you stand with yours below the sword
you feed the mouths of your children with
stolen goods and broken hearts, we mend
your spoils of war
I will birth babies and revolution
I will cook and feed minds
I will fuck and remember war cries
that I turned into laughter
who owns fertile ground and keeps
testosterone alive on the shore
screaming for more,
woman, woman hear her roar
calling out only because she is herself.
We are some miracle, I think
on lonely days, that we come
back to time and place lips
on fresh wounds, bury problems
asunder even though they bleed
through the spaces of our unsteady hands.
I wonder at the places we’ve been
in our minds, the fantasies that they
can never hope to satisfy, the climactic
utopian visions we imagine of sex and
peace and religion. The epic visions of our faith.
Simple, possible unity leveled by an unruly gang
carrying testosterone and wealth.
If only the world of banks could
live in our minds, what wealth
to spend, what passion to eat.
If only they knew what was good for them
what a wonderful world it would be.
Of the awake soul, she calls me of the morning
she calls it laughter, and the loose sighs
of the downright woman, I find
fine threads in the downhome man.
sweet comfort, rain comes behind his wailing guffaw,
I feign presence, the life of my rooster, the trail of my sighs.
tell me another story, don’t teach me another lie.
the gathering has commenced, glory groups once again,
writhe in spherical pressure, the agony of repetitive birth.
call to me with your spoils, the nourishment
of time and our feasts. the gallantry of the cock.
she calls me of the morning. I call her of the night.
the free range of our laughter.
responsibility wanes. those hard days behind.
I have remembered you, in time
it’s passing. my arms tend to wrap air
on bright mornings and welcome
the rapid succession of days.
Evaporation is happening faster than
growth and I must rely on children to
lift these stones from the ground
reveal where life tends to hide
subtle, moist and immortal beyond the day.
Do we become none, fallen into memories.
Imprisoned by what could have been.
I am easily moved by a premise,
by a body, what to expect in the face of silence
unearthed, naked, body open below the sun
utterly silent and still.
The breath of late August leaves me aghast
and it is here, on this late summer night,
that you come, revealed
in stage-like misery,
playing your own tragic game aloud.
Oh, the mistakes we are saved from—
by way of windows, by way of props for sky and darkness.
Give space to the giver,
to the blow of what is memory,
for what could have been
the outside of my body, light takes frigid air
how cold you are inside of revelation
where lessons are narrow and the path is August, overgrown.
Far ahead—your way is tightened with what could have been.
No matter—my eyes sleep open to August mourning.
Bring the cardinal flowers on either side.
Soon all that is lush will die,
mistakes will grow again
and so will the flowers.
The woman I dreamed to be took flight.
She lived in a story that died overnight.
The woman of this story had beauty and grace.
She welcomed every guest with a smile on her face.
She coddled her children with patience and love.
She solved their disputes with the gentleness of a dove.
Her husband felt pride to call her “my wife”.
For she served him a four-course meal every night.
She pleasured his body in all different places.
And gave him head on a regular basis.
When not attending to family, she worked a full-time job.
Master of organization, multi-tasker galore.
The chauffeur to soccer, piano and art.
Model of composure behind the shopping cart.
Helper of homework, storyteller by night.
The smell of fresh laundry made her feel just right.
When the speakers of rational thought warned she would tire.
She told them, “Come on. You’re crazy. You’re a liar.”
The modern woman can take on it all.
There is never a project too big or too small.
At the ripe age of 40, the rational thinkers came again.
“Have you tired? Are you finished? How is your head?”
The modern woman couldn’t answer. She couldn’t hear what they said.
They found her on the floor, already dead.