My voice has an edge I hope you will accommodate with your lips
And swallow like the man you are
Show me your masculinity under my heel
Or dare to reach for my insides to feel the warm blood pulsing
Beyond above and through you
This is not your home. I am not a savior
With a rose tattoo or perfect nails
I am a priestess waiting for the next sacrifice
I am bold enough for myself. I am enough for
Myself. I am word of mouth. I am words too much for your mouth.
You are scaly skin and no tail. You say there is
Substance underneath your skin. Oh yes,
Just a typical layer of crust. You say there was a bloody accident? She didn’t sew you up?
I see stitches coming undone. I see gold underneath
I collect expensive things.
Word has it you move worlds with your tongue
Give me speech. Make yourself whole
Are you a seashell washed ashore?
Because damn, boy, you’re just another broken one
Amongst thousands of broken ones
And so we square up. Show me your will to
Battle it to death. I am creamy cake batter, better than you will
Ever be, cheap sprinkles. Make my toes curl or go—
This is North Pole and you are the small brown bear
I have glaciers. I have spears.
I am too woman to be yet another woman you
Barge into. Surprise surprise. I have removed the welcome mat and replaced it with
A bed of knives and flowers. I am surrealist art I am
You are Princess Diana.
But say, if you can hold yourself steady in my stormy weather
And you don’t mind all my edges and clouds and bald patches
You can wear my stockings and we can bake sometime
I’ll buy you a spare toothbrush to keep at mine and
We can sail away on Sunday afternoons on checkered picnic blankets.
Artwork by Valerie Belin, “Ballroom Dancers 1” 2008