red to blue, the impact was impressively white.
naked and covered myself in red paint.
The color ran, but I stood still as all around me
brothers were swept up
in waves of dissent.
Any man can throw a
rock in the adrenaline heat of a
spontaneous revolution, but if
feels the screech of smoldering rubber
inches from her nose,
the strength of her convictions lie between
her and the fender.
forehead blistered and peeled for a week,
women with convictions don't have lovers;
convicted women don't have friends. They have
hands and minds and comrades and ideals and they
awake until sunrise, stay up for days
on end. Fueled by passion,
by sublimated impulses. Revolutionary women sound
like it's always that time of the month. Men shoot first and
ask questions later. Women just shoot, having already asked
and answered the possible questions, having heard the
jury's verdict and banging
gavels in their sleep; knowing history and
the census won't count them, knowing their data is stored
a dusty file cabinet somewhere and their opinions
won't skewer telemarketing polls because
don't answer the phone
briskly at dinnertime.
Dinnertime isn't for eating.
is a cup of
coffee in a basement or a
hasty bagel on the train, and
breakfast is not the most
important meal of the day.
is an interruption.
get shot first.
Cops and soldiers hide behind
helmets and horses and tanks,
impervious to direct sunlight and intense heat.
away the cherry burns from cigarettes
extinguished on my hand, I ripped
thin pillows apart in effigy and kicked
holes in my brother's arguments.
I refused to back down.
I refused to cry.
a piglet into the mayor's office; it squealed in hunger and
fright. Regardless of genus or species, Infant hunger is infant
hunger. Infant hunger is infinite hunger and though its form is
sometimes appalling, it cannot be ignored. A pig stepped on the
piglet as they wrestled us apart and led me away in disgust.
piglet deserves to be orphaned.
tear gas burned. I couldn't wash it away.
lies at the heart of battle.
Futures lie bloody at merciless feet while
countless voices swim upstream through
restless generations of
bleeding hearts: voices of low murder,
quiet reason, apocalyptic wonder and
cataclysmic joy. These voices of gunshot
flirtation erupt in covertly girlish whispers
and gales of colloquial laughter regardless of
whether our daughters rocket from wombs
like daredevils shot from cannons
or gracefully untangle themselves from
umbilical coils like placenta-soaked wailing Houdini's.
brought me to the station in
an antique trolley car, hands cold and
wrists cut from plastic restraints, bound
like a loaf of bread or a length of fence.
ran out of cells to hold everyone.
I ran out of patience for outdated protest and
folk songs so I started composing
slogans of my own--cadenced words
that will never be heard in a radio world of
uptown girls and downtown
trains, where women don't make news
unless they're pretty,