Don’t lie to me, mother

Don’t lie to me, mother
Don’t lie to me about how to best bend and contort myself into a
Piece of abstract sculpture
To best please the grinning buyer with a dagger between his legs and a wad of cash in his hand

“Close your legs when you sit, girl.”

Don’t lie to me, mother
Don’t lie to me about how to protect myself like a wrapped lollipop
Tightly twisted at the bottom, unyielding to grubby paws
To best please an unskillful lover a man I have not yet met who will wear Birkenstock slippers and drive a silver Toyota

“Close your legs when you sit, girl.”

Don’t lie to me, mother
Don’t lie to me about how to keep myself alive
Here’s a condom give it to him should he want to rape you here’s a pepper spray do you know how to use it here’s a spare credit card but don’t use it to travel alone
To best feel paranoia everywhere I go and you called it “being alert”

“Close your legs when you sit, girl.”

Don’t lie to me, mother
Don’t lie to me about how much fear you feel
The day you were told “it’s a girl!” you prayed that I wouldn’t be too beautiful because that would pique the interest of wolves with daggers between their legs and grubby paws

But the day I was born when the amniotic sac ruptured they had already smelled the potential between my legs
They are still on the hunt, and you knew that, didn’t you?

“Close your legs when you sit, girl.”

I will oblige, with an axe in my hands
I will wait for them to come.

 

Photograph by Susan Meiselas, “Dee and Lisa, Mott Street, Little Italy, New York”, 1976. 

 

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