A girl, breathing
Is it some masculine thing, then, this judgment that is like some
fucked-up sense of what is right and strong, not weak or insignificant?
She sits alone, the taste of pennies in her mouth — a stringent dryness,
the wave heaving upward, like the tide swell shoreward, bringing, then
leaving behind salty, small hollowed carcasses to dry on the sand.
Breathe, breathe through, release, choke down or swallow.
She shakes it off.
Whose dumb idea was it that writing first from the gut,
from first mush and the shallows, must be just wallowing
if it has been swilling and become rank? Not instead
fermented, rich, swirling or thick around — masculine,
not ever so slightly sweet, pliant or even “only butch.”
She thinks of her, then: I want you on your stomach, the bed flat
and wide, in a darkness you must reach for, hands outstretched.
She writes, closes her eyes, calls forth surrender, raises herself over,
between, engulfing. A pulse, then hum, steady. Inevitable.
Breathe, breathe through, release.
She thinks it out, remembering.
How can we define, defer, put aside those unwelcome recalls — hold
sway over ugly musings if not by force? Is it being too much a girl to want
to say: enough for now, enough? There is no forgetting what I have seen.
Will it touch you if I say: not now, not ever, not like this, her
in the wings? What is influence but a flowing in?
Is that what makes us female? A pliant, mutable wash
against which nothing stands; it wears away at everything, eventually,
in its path. This play with words upon words upon the world…
Does a woman not deserve, reserve, observe? Must she
always stand on the outside, on the other side, the underside?
and why, then, is the breaking through an act of violence, a bashing
upward through a ceiling that must leave behind a shower of shards?
She writhes, then writes.