Because We Can

i was working with
broken hands
on borrowed time,
i’d left a trail of
embalmer’s tools,
like bread crumbs
through black forests,
thick with monsters
who resembled men.
i have worked with less,
i have worked on weaker,
i live among the dead,
my convictions
are questioned
by my own seed,
an image of myself,
often asks,
“why do you care,
when we all die alone?”

i have found
why do i care?
when at the end
of each
my own ribcage
plays house with my heart

we care, because we can.
we care, because it’s
what we were born to do.

Radiation Day: 2

defined: generates life
a source, perfection
a sacred site.

and now i tremble,
hands folded
humbly in my lap,

redefined: full of poison,
toxic and cancerous,
but fights, for life

survivors are birthed,
born from unseen fights

invisible to the naked eye
hands folded, humbly in my lap

grows, spreads like wildfire
deep against the back of my womb

still, generates life
imperfections grow
sometimes in sacred sites.

Mother’s Love

mother had expressed distress;
the very idea of me aging
placed a seed of hate
deep in the pit of her womb,
she nurtured this with great care.

i digested sunset after sunrise,
hand over fist and force fed
the voices in my head,
only to have my heart argue
in silent protest.

cultivated until the dawn
of my earliest womanhood,
curated an exhibit, placed
on display for an entire
universe to see.

mother learned to despise,
lived without a shadow of a doubt
could never express why she
didn’t love, why love failed,
excused the lack of.

on her end, recessive genes:
birthed a time to kill,
a time to hide, bundled them,
coddled them, carried through
a prophetic phase, predictive

pathetic, and mother
promised she’d connect the dots,
explanations come with age.
we waded, sifted
through generations of family plots,

picked up bad habits,
corruptions that aged us,
but nothing more compelling
than lessons learned without
hunger pangs for wisdom’s

sake, we fed ourselves;
we fed on the carcass
of youth, battered and beaten,
stolen from the village idiot.
and we called her mother;

the one who’d forsaken us,
left vulnerable, on the doorstep
the threshold of forever
gifted at birth, with a collection
of never enough.


there had been a kindness
in the dark pools of her eyes,

until she’d centered herself
around his values.

we became less ourselves,
under his reign
we became tools
for the progress of men.
prizes, who were hushed
and placed on shelves,
sheltered by scorn,
harsh criticism
applied to the bodies
that bound us

bound to standards,
almost unrecognizable, by nature.

we were bound to obligations,
and mourning rituals.

we were bound to regulations
built by the man that housed sin.

we were bound to the word,
we were women.

Untitled, about Humanity

inventing language,
something stiff, shaken
not stirred, we
leave the stirring
to the moments that shake us.
clouding judgment
by coddling a past
we’re still stuck in,
replays like groundhog day,
sidesteps historical traumas,
justifies fighting another way.
and they preach
about smiling,
which we do
out of spite.
we were safe, in numbers.
pluralism applied
to our glass houses.
deep in the cul-de-sac kingdom
love sits next to hate,
and they’ll never forgive
themselves, it’s why the
caged bird sings,
hosts a melancholy
singalong once a week.
cramped in wombs,
embedded the american dream,
globalized democracy.
industrialized genocide plans
copyright the strands
own stolen lands,
and this is how to
sell a countdown,
how we play out
self-fulfilling prophecies.
profits off of these deaths;
fallen war stories become
actors, on the big screen.
criminal activity for the people,
martyrs birthed from evening news,
and we the people
embrace anything, everything.
all of my heroes have
FBI files
this big! i can scream
my protest silently,
i have the world
at my fingertips,
technology as a necessity,
connected, constantly.
explain to me,
how we find moments
that might not shake us?
shape us? give me something
that won’t break us.


We’re Just Women

labels them inappropriate questions,
then asks to gift me one;
smirks, and wants to know
if i enjoy the act
of men having sex
with angels, he
slaps me across the face
with my own lost virginity.

i am a woman,
my lips mouth these words
soundlessly, i rely on
caressing thought and feeling
to keep me upright.

i forget to seek truth,
instead linger in sensations
aroused by the image of men
fucking angels,
and remind him,
we’re just women.