Shattering the Bell Jar

It happens to all of us

With our dark hair that we pass on like syphilis

Mother to daughter, and back again.

Or maybe it's our round faces that submit themselves

Unknowingly to the world.

Little hands and long nails that grab a pencil so well

Know how to bleed on paper.


And I sit

In the cold arms of a magnolia

Drinking the blood from my lineage

After falling into my familiar fate.


The blister of a thousand stings in the Garden of Eden

Where the little blue shoes patter

Then romp

And kick

And pull flowers from the beds

As their fathers taught them to.


I need a key and a door.

Or an impassioned mallet,

To break

And crack my wallpapered cell

To cut up the pretty bicycles

That someone plastered over the peepholes.


I need a place to shed out of this coveted skin,

Some matches to burn down the layers of bloody porcelain tile.

To lace the flowers with thorns

And let them grow. 



[Photo credit: "Sweet is the Sting," by Mary Chiaramonte]

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