the simple stuff
of silly little girls,
on crumpled paper,
of gilded tresses
teasing warm wind,
of fair skin
and mauve apple cheeks?
it paints a fairytale
of right, white, cis, and slight.
knights, muscular, masculine saviors
in horses or in heavens.
that exists, only in complement
and in compliments
of looks and wombs.
it excludes discreetly, concretely, we unruly outsiders
born or bred into opposing folklore.
mother may i
…mourn my never babies
…shun the likes of ladies
…walk with too much pride
…refuse to hide my bride
…let my tongue cut sharp
…make a mighty mark
…eat far beyond my belly’s fill
…smudge grease on windowsills
…own my body alone
…call my body, home
call my body home.
do not give me dead things, wrapped in butcher
paper, secured with string, accompanied by cards
fated to mold and decay on nightstands and tables
inspiring dreams of falling teeth, fleeing heads
like water spilling from smelly drunken mouths
do not give me flowers
bound for casket sprays and pageant girls in melting makeup
whose youth’s been squandered away in musty auditoriums
wilting, in the thickened palms of industrious immigrants
weaving between stopped cars on valentine’s/mother’s/father’s/every day
do not gift me an obligation to pretend that they, nor i, are special
both born and extracted from earth, we adorn buttonholes
cling weakly to arms, perch in nests of hair, and sit properly contained
dressing the most troubled in temporality
floral follies that make no difference at all
do not give us away
pollen coated paradoxes of contrition do not absolve violence
and unfaithfulness. i still recall the rose tattoo on her leg
and the way it danced near your head
the sweet pungent stink of sweat and dead
it’s no wonder i hate roses the most