Aubade to American Women

By: Sara Paye

A poem born from the psychoses of my daily life.

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Mural of a woman lying mid-air

Mastodon daylight lowers itself

Swinging into tower walls,

Slaughtering tangled sunbeams below clouds

Lifting monarchs above raindrop debris.

This is our first day, our last day.

This is cold cynicism.

This is not a desperate love poem to our tribe’s sheik.

This is the ringing in of natives speaking

Ashanti: peace, peace, peace.

We take our lives and

Pierce them into the center of open whirlpools;

Take our brutishness, nasty and short,

And stick it to the glittering mendicants of Times Square.

This place we call home, pulses

With the quickening of a heartbeat upon grace’s touch,

Hastening the traffic we call hell. It is morning -

Bruising our temples with memories of last night’s dreams that

Perpetually call us the heroines, the failures, the beasts.

It’s bloody. Because in truth we are princesses by name, yet

Privileged to know bitter seas, thicker in courage than straw.

Employment is a dirty phrase, like “proprietary information.”

Wrench the roots of hope out of our beauty,

Sculpt a new worship into our minds.

Like Midas and his touch, make us powerful to change crime.

Simply because it’s immoral doesn’t make it irredeemable.

Alarm the larks of America — because this is no longer ignorance.

It is time to wake up and time to siege our fortresses of false makeup,

False pretenses. Let our creator of mountain forests

Set up before us

Good news.

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