I ache for something more than this.
There is this spark in the pit of coals that smolder underneath my skin,
that scars my flesh from the inside out, that promises
– that swears –
that it will never go out.
It has charred my insides, scorched my bones, and I am choking on smoke.
There are stars underneath my fingernails that disguise themselves as dirt,
and galaxies in the spaces between my toes where I wear no socks,
just for an excuse to see them.
You laugh when I tell you I want more
You laugh when I ask you why it is that over and over –
it is shown in history that women who speak
who open their mouths to cry foul
become sirens and banshees and mermaids and
monsters that lure innocent men to the depths
– to their deaths.
But if sirens, banshees, mermaids and monsters I must be to be heard
Then so I shall be.
Watch this voice that cannot sing, that wavers and stutters turn into a scream that even
You, with your laughter, over your daughters, cannot ignore.
When you bury me under your affectionate hate
With words you don’t even understand – your bigotry
Let me tell you that you should have feared this fire
When it was just a spark
So condemn me with your ignorance, tie me to your burning pyre.
You laugh when I ask you what love is
and you demand that it is all I have to give, all I have to offer,
that as a woman I am either lover or monster
and why can I not be both? Be neither?
Why can I not question what love is
And its existence
For if love is as whole and as pure and as much of a duty as you assign to mothers
Why is it that we continue to deny it to others?
So laugh as I burn, as you burn, as we burn
Because you should have feared this wildfire when it was just a spark
And just like the women who have come before me –
I have found that ache that drives me to be.
That ache that screams, that whispers, that the ground will shatter, the earth will break
and may there be mercy on the souls that doubted me.