because I‘m a powerful woman        not man or girl     

                             no fledgling princess

            You’ve never seen anything like me     & won’t again   

     I’ve sweat through this life      as mama              as bearer of brokenness

exhaling rosewater incense              but my hopes are

     always blasting      through glass       mica     &    wood


A man sees my dating profile & writes   

hi sweetheart     hi beautiful

though we’ve exchanged fewer words   

than the ingredient list on a cereal box


he’s not my dear         but everything I fear

why doesn’t he understand              that I am the whole

pineapple        sharp bracts at the base of each flower       

fleshy axis       &    crown?                 


I’m a juicy strip no one can remove or sweeten

Don’t idolize me or use language      to possess me                        

                         stake a claim             on my body                

or on my mind’s fierce imaginings


Some days I’m the wrinkled knees of elephants        other days

   tainted rainwater          I’m the wilting fire of stars          that won’t be

put out            still perceived to forever burn          &   I’m not sorry

for anything — god doesn’t apologize for birthing the universe  — or me                       


so why shouldn’t I shine         like a pool of wonder?

Geysers and sand dunes are my sweethearts         

what’s beautiful         is the gladdened hearts of loved ones—

keepers of the cloth      who weave the fabric of knowing

into the loom of evening sky


What are you looking for?