A wax sky drips over a sidewalk corner
Illuminated by a burning-wick sun
As I smile at the old men living there,
Baked and leathery and meaning everything to nothing
They’re holding signs reading, “-
We drove by too fast
I was scared of the way they smiled back, joy departed
And yelled God Bless! in the streets
Their laminate happiness a paradoxically truthful tilework
Under the feet of those apathetic enough to believe their pocket change is worthy of a “I love you” “God Bless”
From the men whose only confidence, is the one they hold in a greater power
Their acts of pity are intended to make themselves feel needed
Are the moral to their story
This is why they love them
Do not mistake my taught quietness for compliance,
After a lifetime of reparations at the hands of those
Ignorant enough to believe a girl’s place
Is on her knees
Your love for me because I am not like the other girls
You imply that I am better-
Hint at a hierarchy of your choosing, made up of women created to serve you
The false compliment tastes bitter in your mouth and
Makes me want to bite off the tongue you’re forcing down my throat
Spit it on the ground, crush it into the dense carpet under the heels of girls strong enough to accept equality rather than misandry or misogyny.
I was not strong enough.
Instead, I stayed quiet because you said you loved me.
I stayed quiet, to your advantage.
This is why you loved me
I wish I had had a courageous enough disposition to have said “no”
More than twice,
To have said it boldly,
To have said it again afterwards
And to have said it since
In revolutionary rather than evolutionary fashion,
I am no longer quiet
I am LOUD LOUD LOUD
And I do not exist to be extinguished, as though I share
The bigotry and hate you are made up of
I was an explosion long before you lit my flame
I am strong enough to know now
Once is enough
And twice is two times that
I am not to be completed by someone else
I am whole on my own
This is why I love myself
As the sky falls once more, I am a moth,
Whose eyes it matters not whether they are open or closed
I see the same light reflected by
The attractive flash of teeth on a face named familiar
By the acrylic eyes painted cerulean,
Framed by lashes stained dark.
In a parking lot contradicting
The rosy-pale skin stretched over your bones
This is where I met you.
You ask me,
What good is love in thoughts?
And so I say,
It doesn’t matter whether you love me (or not).
You are the petrichor fragrance
Gracing my nostrils.
You are the secondhand smoke
Filling my eager lungs.
You are the blood colored fearless red
Pumping through my veins,
Because I love you.