Thursday, November 29, 2012


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
            hear everything

in silent blackout
breath condenses
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
conversation stops
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


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