by Yrsa Daley-Ward
who says, "Don't cry.
You'll like it after a while."
and Two who tells you thank-you
after the fact and can't look at your face.
To Three who pays for your breakfast
and a cab home
and your mother's rent.
"But you felt so good
I didn't know how to stop."
To Five who says giving your body
but something you do very well.
Who smells of tobacco
and says "Come on, I can feel that
you love this."
To those who feel bad in the morning yes,
some feel bad in the morning
and sometimes they tell you
you want it
and sometimes you think that you do.
Thank heavens you're resetting
How else do you sew up the tears?
How else can the body survive?
by Laura C. Taylor
Painting is for pictures
too hard to understand
so let me paint you a picture
of a girl
who has a little too much to understand..
her heart was a two ton brick in her fist
that kept her pinned
to the exact spot on the ground
he wanted her to be in
when she's 12
and those 27 minutes felt like eternity,
clinging to her sanity
like the last molecule of burned up air in a gas chamber
she slept on cindered feathers
sucking on the bones of her rotting body
holding back panicked breaths
like other kids hold stuffed animals
sinister smiling eyes
splashed across her limbs
"You're so pretty.."
you're so pretty.
seeds of fear planted
in a daughter,
she couldn't go any farther
the limbs of her body bare branched
creaking away from his whispered breaths
leaves burned up with the heat of guilt
hidden in the smoke are her pleading eyes
her roots ripped up and flung away
with the drop of his pants
gritting teeth sewn shut
with the bone needles of a broken bird
brittle body vibrating
against the pine tree that
looked "so pretty,"
two hours ago
pressed against the cage
that kept her soul contained
red and blue flashes
translate to blackness
and 6 years later
her sheets are still soaked
trembling with the sound of her own frozen voice
melting into puddles she tried to pick up
with dirty hands
and a dirty heart
dripping into the exact consistency
of the mud he left her in
fingernails full of his fingerprints
and the dew on the grass
came from her eyes
and the sheen off her body
smoking up to follow the bird
that unwillingly flew away
blacked painting hung up
on the pale bone frame
those 18 years and no one taught him a shred of decency
you'd think it should be inked into his humanity
she sings into the ashes
calling it back
she can't see his face
she can't know his name
she can't say that
she carved herself up like an animal
creating a scarred picture
everyone's seen before
but few have known
can't say that she breathes a storm
then pounds her body
until her tears turn red
and everything goes numb again
and she can finally believe for a second
your hands aren't his hands
If I knew her what could I say?
that there's something beautiful about skinned knees
and the fault lines in her eyes
and the way she scrubs her blood from the floor
and the fact that I can't stay quiet anymore
the flames my guilt fans
grow brighter when I think
that because I didn't speak
he could have gone on to ruin
another perfect thing
a perfect thing who's picture
looks a whole lot like mine.
by Patti Smith
yum yum the stars are out. I'll never forget how you
smelled that night. like cheddar cheese melting
under fluorescent light. like a day-old rainbow fish.
what a dish. gotta lick my lips. gotta dream I day-
dream. thorozine brain cloud. rain rain comes com-
all over her. there she is on the hill. pale as a posy.
getting soaking wet. hope her petticoats shrink.
well little shepherd girl your gonna kingdom come.
looking so clean. the guardian of every little lamb.
well beep beep sheep I'm moving in.
I'm gonna peep in bo's bodice. lay down darling don't
be modest let me slip my hand in. ohhh that's soft
that's nice that's not used up. ohhh don't cry. wet
what's wet? oh that. heh heh. that's just the rain
lambie pie. now don't squirm. let me put my rubber
on. I'm a wolf in a lamb skin trojan. ohh yeah that's
hard that's good. now don't tighten up. open up be-
bop. lift that little butt up. ummm open wider be-bop.
come on. nothing. can. stop me. now. ohhh ahhh.
isn't that good. my. melancholy be-bop.
Oh don't cry. come on get up. let's dance in the grass.
let's cut a rug let's jitterbug. roll those tiny white
stockings down. bobby sock-o let's flow. come on this
is a dance contest. under the stars, let's alice in the
let's swing betty boop hoop
let's birdland let's stroll
let's rock let's roll
let's whalebone let's go
let's deodorize the night.