Electric

i see
the glitter
a glimpse into the eyes

they are live
wires

shimmery specks
of splendiferous 
shine
fuzzing about
the periphery
of the pupils

joyous crackles
crinkling the
corners

happiness
pure and present
pouring abundantly
out

in a tiny
grateful
glance

to be sighted 
and swallowed
through such 
an ecstatic lens

quickens 
the pulse

i am dizzy
and 
brought to 
much needed
life

Don’t Forget

"Don’t forget where you came from"
I haven’t
I won’t.
Every time my boys cry
I remember
My little brother 
Not even 7 
Quickly wiping away tears
Because he was being called a faggot
A sissy boy.
A “little girl”
Those last two words hurled with a sneer
Because we all knew, having feelings was relegated to the card carrying vagina members
And that was shameful
Pathetic.
Uncles and his own mother
MY mother
Drug addled and bitter
Insults as poisonous darts
Piercing my gentle younger sibling’s soul.
No.
I don’t forget where I came from
When I call them to me
My weeping children
Upset
Bothered
Sad
Angry
Feelings are everything and sometimes can only be expressed through tears.
I hold them close. 
I ask them to use their words.
Sometimes I am just as frustrated as they are.
But I’ll not shame them.
Ever.

"Don’t forget where you came from."
I fucking remember.
I learned how to swallow the torrents of pain which threatened to
Break through the dam of my lids
I’m tough
I’m untouchable
Crying is for the weak
You’ll never break me.
I am Stronger Than All Of You.
When my mother called me a whore after I had been raped at 12.
When my grandmother told me I “shouldn’t have been out that late” after being assaulted and almost gang raped at 16.
When anyone I had ever put trust in proved to be unworthy of that privilege.
Yes. I remember where I came from.

I came from The Vicious Cycle.
I came from the Women Who Accepted The Very Least And Counted It As The Best,
I came from the Long Line of Toxic Masculinity Disguised As The Norm
I came from the Over and Over and Over 
And Over AGAIN
Because That’s JUST HOW IT IS.

I remember where I came from.
My great-grandmother doing her best to shield me from the Bad Touch Uncles. Failing. Begging me to not anger my grandmother because she could not stand to hear her beat me. Shamed because it was a mirror of her past behaviors.
My grandmother crying in silence when she got the news her mother had passed. Becoming stoic in less than a second of being noticed. After all, she had to be “strong”. More guilt than grief for she hadn’t been kind to her ailing mother. 
My mother nursing wounds in private which occurred decades ago because trust wasn’t her strong suit. Self-medicating in the worst way; escapism was easier than the thorny shit reality left to face. Homeless, drug addict, write off.

I remember where I came from.
I came from a great great grandmother who was married to a 27 year old man at the age of 12. A woman who had her first living child of a dozen at the age of 14. A woman married to a man who liked his little girls a little too much, which did not exclude his own daughters. A woman who never knew an easy day the way we know easy days.
I came from a great grandmother who took her 3 little girls, left her husband and the boxcar they were living in to search for something better. A woman who started fresh in Chicago, working several jobs, never taking a husband until her girls had married on their own for fear of what they would suffer at the hands of a strange man. A woman who worked hard her entire life to leave something of substance for her girls. A woman who failed at being kind to her daughters, whose love and desire to protect became unyielding suffocation and unnecessarily harsh discipline.
I came from a grandmother dedicated to never being as cruel in punishment as her own mother was, yet failing because she unfortunately had her mother's temper. A woman who decided that after all the heartbreak, she would rather spend the rest of her days alone. No one could hurt her if she didn't allow them into her life. A woman who raised her grandchildren in hopes to fix the past mistakes she made with her own. A woman who was sorry, but had not any inkling on how to apologize.
I came from a mother with a heart so huge and compassionate, you’d never see it past her stony exterior. A woman with enough demons to stock a second hell. A woman who has not yet forgiven herself for things everyone else has already forgotten. A woman who could have been a good mother, had anyone ever given her the chance and  belief. 

"Don’t Forget Where You Came From."
People toss that around like it means money. Stature. Material Bullshit.
I remember where I came from.
A long line of women
Who could have been 
EVERYTHING.
Were they not women.
Women
Who were weak when they should have been strong, mistaking what it was to be either.
Women
Who loved and were never loved back
Women 
Who woke up every day… wondering… Is This Fucking It.
Women who tried. 
Who stopped trying because it just didn't seem worth it.
Women fierce and soft
kind and cruel
quiet and loud
Women who have taught me
albeit inadvertently
just how important it is
to live life with
compassion and forgiveness.
How important it is
to know my worth.


I carry a piece of each
In random memories of their grimaces, frown lines creasing foreheads.
Black & white photos of forced smiles.
Candid polaroids of true joy.
Spontaneous thoughts and ideas of how to be better.
Song lyrics out of the blue which they would hum during the 
few moments when they were happy
(a character trait of which I am happy has been passed down through the generations)

I'll never forget.
I am well aware 
of
Who I am.
Where I came from.

Dominoes

The ones I loved
The ones I wanted
The ones I lusted

All could give a
flying fig
for me

a history of

chasing men
who had been
nothing but
back alley
beggar boys
sneakily dressed
in much
fancier clothing
just
(faintly squint)
a tiny bit
too large
for their
diminutive
frames

all whilst
my woman’s heart,
devotion,
and
hunger
had remained
far more feeling,
staunch,
and ravenous

And like dominoes

I kept queuing
them up

Each had
been
placed
and
balanced,
precariously
forming that tenuous line
of repeated
fowls and
heartaches.

the fickleness
of the foolish

a test of my
patience

Until I
came to realize
this was
far more trouble
than it
was worth

weary sigh
head tilted
my finger gave
the smallest
poke
to the very first
pip

and

The quiet rhythmic
clacking

soothed

the
*click
*click
*click
of each
falling into the
other

closure,

leaving
a flawless
mess…
a pile
of ivory rectangles
pieces
with no
discernible match

Gingerly,
with care
and reverence

I placed each tenderly
within the case

This was a game
I no longer
cared to play.

The Crone and The Adulteress

Beaten down, nearly naked,
eyes blurred
the whites stained pinkish
from far too many tears
mouth parched from wailing
cries no one would ever hear
she arrived and knocked at the crone’s door

the little lady stood
short, wiry, strong
aged yet
masked in
youthful mischief
Her braided hair gray
up in its kerchief
she took in the sorry sight
and noted soon what was wrong

she sighed
a quick “tut tut” at the girl’s chest
and the elder of the two
concern on her face
wasted no time
set about to making a place
for the woman
with the emblazened A upon her breast.

Just happy for some kindness
the younger didn’t speak
The elder took her things
set them aside
Poked at the hearth to get
the fire going inside
Prepared her a plate of food
and insisted “Eat.”

She nibbled a bit
no hunger for the food
As the crone applied salve
by the light of the moon
to the still bleeding lashes
and seared-in-skin wound
“Ah now, I promise.
You’ll soon be back to good.

I know it’s hard
minding the young alone
while the man is off
earning the keep
leaving the missus
many nights to sleep
just herself,
in an empty home.

I’ve been there,
Where you are now.
We are expected to be content
nary a complaint
Keep the fire burning
food on the plate
Like a bought at auction
complacent cow.

It’s not easy, though is it?
A woman needing more
Than a man’s roof and boots at the bed
A feathered pillow to rest your head
So now,
here you are. The Whore.”

The younger gasped at the word.
How it stung.
More than the cuts
More than the coming scars
She missed her children
They were now kept so far
Would they notice?
They were still yet so young.

But before her the crone
gently came to kneel
She unbuttoned her blouse
scarred but now faint
Her own A from long ago
“Yes, I too, had taint.
And soon yours will fade as well.
Now, please. Eat your meal.”

The punishment she had endured
none was worse than her own.
But the days passed
though they felt like weeks
Wounds began to heal
the color came back to her cheeks
All this
while under the watchful eye of the crone.

The crone never varied.
Each day the same as the last.
Reminding the younger
that no one was pure
while she wasn’t innocent
Neither were those before
Things were difficult
But all would soon pass.

Together they lived,
quietly though rumors swirled –
(The crone was a witch
And she had a new student!
Well, she is getting old,
she’s just being prudent.)
But no one knew the truth
The honesty of their world.

They were both women who had
no one but each other
Everyone holding themselves
to be judge and jury
They kept themselves from
the indignant fury
They knew their own hearts
and couldn’t be bothered

Soon enough, the younger’s scar
began to fade
Still there, a reminder of her failings.
Her faults.
But she carried on her new life
in that crone’s house.
For when it was her turn to take care
of another woman gone astray.

And they stayed together, the two of them. Breasts scarred with A’s.

Magic

She is graying.
She is flawless.
Her mouth is a soft peach of a grin
her laughter is used sparingly
sprinkling her audience
and would be mates
lightly
Like rain
on droughted dirt
Enough
so they know they are
thirsty
they are drawn near
hoping
for another
drop

And

I love her sex magic
The way she moves
A gliding grace
Fluid
A sultry shadow
Which they chase
trying to grasp
at her wisps
with desperate wanting
and lust
But their
hungry
itching
fingers
can’t touch
her

I like watching the younger girls
Watching her
out of the corners
of their
judging yet
undeniably appreciative
eyes

What does she have?
Witchcraft? Sorcery?
Why do I not
have it?

Oh, but you do, loves.
It is in the
way you enter
a room
Head held high
Unashamed
Unembarrassed
Of your womanhood
The control you have
of yourself
your mind
your body
Mischief which
twinkles slightly
in your eyes
as you offer
the slyest
of smiles
Because you know secrets
They never will
And they’ll fall at your feet
Trying to find out
You are the Eden
The Paradise
The Promised Land
And only you have
the Power
to allow entrance
To Those You Deem
Worthy.
Never forget that.
She hasn’t.
She is a Lesson
Learn Well

You were born with this magic.
Own it.