|Peggy in "Change+ing Room," at Fahimeh Vahdat's exhibit, October 2012|
remove glasses and
slip under black cloak
I peer through a slit
pressing down on thick eyelids
inside mother’s protective womb
cushioned in layers of fluid, muscle, bony pelvis, skin
you cannot see me but I hear you
in silent blackout
under synthetic silk
forming heart, lungs, ovaries
limbs curled into trunk
walking through a crowd
space clears for me
like a road opens for an ambulance
you do not know what I will become
you do not know the generations of women’s rage I embody
to you I am a bump yet unconscious
sensing my silent steps
sitting still I become invisible
eavesdrop on the last time I was in Turkey
and dinner plans
downtown or third ward?
gestational I am carrier
of my grandmother’s untold stories
the egg that would hatch me
formed in her womb
as she carried my mother
eyes glance then dart away
better to not look
an unspoken complicity
let’s not talk to her
what lengths will you take to ignore me?
what would I reveal given the chance?
what threat does the curve of my hips present?
clavicles, cleavage, clitoris?
cloaked and alone
in the eye of my own churning hurricane
I must hide my hands under black cloth
afraid of what they will commit