Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Consent

Her “body into busks was
turn’d,” Behn wrote.  I am
                                           not
such a giving tree.
Still, men have taken
busks off me.

I have been stripped bare
underneath and
turned from my roots into
a sheet,
             on a sheet,
as those characters
start disappearing.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Nymphs I Have Been



Celia shit,
and Swift shit
on me,

made
me a nymph
and put me
to sleep.

I wake up every day
a less-than-Houyhnhnm
                                        woman.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Coquinas

They made castles from coquinas here,
building on broken bodies, order from disorder.  


We collect shells that connote something
We misunderstand. They weren’t dead until we held them.


The computer rewrites each word.
It turns coquina into conquistador, victor.


Reconstruction, reconstitution
means the content was never content.  Neither am I.  


You are complicit in this violence.
You have opened them up and pretended not to hear.


She understands their desperation.
Each holds on, holds on to the shell she holds in her hand.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

An Aphra Behn-inspired poem

Aphra Behn, and an article I wrote about her
before I became a "recovered" academic.
You are not what you seem:
A whole, complete, perfect circle.
 
When you cracked me, made me
split in two, my body and hers, I
felt nauseous around scrambled eggs
and self-conscious of my own
fragmentation, a broken shell of myself.  


Your shell is as porous, penetrable
as mine.  Letters written in vinegar
seep in and write your wrongs on
white flesh in grey-green lines,
ugly and unpalatable, overcooked.


When I had your child, I didn’t break:
I split
into
in two
that which you refused.