“we need not forever remain prisoners of our prescriptions.”

I spent years
counting the silhouette
lines of my cell
on the wall
and twirling,
perfecting a
curtsy.

repeat myself daily
to the bricks.
wear a bullseye blouse–
sheer, the outline
of the areola hinting at
desire or spit.
I’m invisible in doses.
(when the maiden turns mother).
car followed me
the other night and the others,
yelling something about my legs
again.
(when the mother is hungry).
tiny shorts.
my massage therapist placed
his dick on my hand
again.
tiny breaths.

(any complaint from the woman).

being forced to touch a guys dick
while im bent over puking;
that memory always comes back
second, and so does
being fucked without
“literally any consent.”
is the way I say it to him.
drunk.
asleep.

(any affirmation that doesn’t start with yes)
(can no be an affirmation?)
(yes,
when it affirms your rejection of men).

I have persistent panic.
the words histrionic
when I finally move to speak.
why are you so emotional?

my dad is dead.
my brother is dead.

my house is full of mold,
squishy walls–no one
will fix the plumbing because of
this and  the pets all  had tumors.
my mom
doesn’t remember the time we
watched the moon dance,
turn brown
or the word for channel.

\he wants to know that I’m not faking it.
my first memory was me
being forced
to try on outfits for some guy 

until  he patted my day bed,
bent me over.
raped me.
he waves his hand
curtly: that’s why
you’re so sexual
as if I have never existed
without the shadow outline
of men surrounding me,
stone and unresponsive
like bars
to a cell. 


and don’t overthink
my outfits because
sometimes I wear head
to toe sweats,
bare face,
hair freshly bladed
so there’s nothing
to grab.

“Rage”

we think it’s a good
thing to be suddenly mad
at everyone,

rage just means
you’re alive.

“sekhmet”

you can find me

angry

seething

red and
dripping little
balls of
past

up your steps
up your hall
up your banister
hovering above your bed.

we call this next section
Sekhmet’s turn

light the fucking candle.

stare at the mirror,
a little past it.

what card do you see?
they ask.
I see the moon.

turn it over.
it’s the moon.
they do this all day long
to prove to me the existence of God.

I have a jar of oil, bayberry, my own spit,
blank check signed, prick from my finger, dash of
rosemary, rose petal from my dad’s
funerary placement (private, just us)

and my menstrual blood
on the mantle.

“I give it all to you.”

(I’ve done this before)

take my blood,
drink it like pomegranate jui ,
get drunk on my rage.”

turn over a card:
Justice.
just to prove things to you,
princess.

I wake up the next morning
bleeding again,
a week early, moon in Leo.
pour a cup full to her.
candle lit.
to the lion’s head,
drink up, love.
it’s pertinent you take it
one bitch at a time.
Justice.

the first thing you notice about me
is my smile, wide, bright like a star
and  the second thing you notice
is the viper behind me.

the fifth one i call is Sekhmet.

“five of wands”

January 5, 2014 and we
have arrived in
North Philadelphia.
the first thing I notice
isn’t the black plastic bags
lining the blocks or the
Auspicious Coin Laundry Service
sign boxed in blue lights
but the way you don’t
seem to look at
me and the way I seem
to blend in with the
tan upholstery of the
passenger seat
even though I am
wearing a bright red
turtleneck,
coughing, asking
if this is where we are
going to live and practicing
pronouncing
K e n s i n g t o n.

mired in the habit
of saying everything I think
aloud without
expectation.
of tapping a finger on
my thigh. of checking
time, twisting a plastic
straw in my hand and
fading.

something building
in my chest;
emergent waves
pounding at the
sternum like
irate knocks
when they want to
be sobs then
fading.

“hypothymia”

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