It’s hard sometimes, not being the king
of France, or even of a smaller, more tropical space, it’s hard
not having the whitest house, or whatever we’re all fighting for.
I’m sorry to take this turn, especially in a poem
that began with such fierce comic promise, such
absurdity. Absurdity! Hahaha. It’s hard to make a joke and see it
to its pithy end, easier, for instance, to ask
What’s the ethos, in this poem, of the color blue? And you
would have two choices: wrack your brain for an answer
that doesn’t exist or admit you don’t know. And then
I’m forced to choose, too. Listen. We don’t have
to have that conversation. We don’t need to fake it
all the time. Because we have to do it, anyway, and here,
in this open space, leaving me and drawing me out, a magnetic field
of hope in a hopeless cosmos, I’d like the opportunity
to be both the able body and the theory-heavy mind, I’d like
to be Virginia Woolf tethered to her desk, hand moving
across the paper, and the idea she’s after in the ether, just barely
getting nailed down. I’d like to be the single breathing woman.
I do not want to be the trend.
I do not want to be the woman who acted according
to the norms of the way women acted then. Because no one
is equal. Because I will be boiled
down to my essentials. The early bird gets the worm, but no one
gives a fuck about the worm, coiled dead on the asphalt
like a length of forgotten garden hose, or falling from my nose
like some ghost, like the one who keeps pulling my hair and fetching
my breath at night, like that smiling gaggle of fools who don’t know
what they need, who know what they do, who, smiling, chat at length
on the verandah about the azure drapes, sip something
lovely, full of rose hips and poison darts.