teaching little girls

we take our little girls
and we teach them
to be nice
to be friendly
and to please

we let them run
and jump
and tumble in the grass

but not too fast
and not too far
and never high enough
to escape

no

for then
we take our little girls
and tell them
don’t be too nice
don’t be too friendly
don’t be too pleasing

and never laugh too joyously
as you tumble in the grass

we say
someday
you’ll be too nice
and attract evil
with your laughter
and then you’ll pay the price
for joy

and it will be your fault

we squash their freedom
we squash their spirits
we squash expression
and hope
and love
and joy

squashed
squashed
squashed
squeezed until they whimper
and then we stomp upon them

their soul
beaten from them
bled from them
with the onset
of monthly cycles

blessed cycles
which should give life
instead are cursed

and used to kill

songbird

i was once

a delicate bird of song

dainty creature

of the morning light

playing in the tops of trees

but my colors

were too bright

my spirited song too lively

for i had not learned

the art

of camouflage

young instincts unrefined

i didn’t know

that cats could climb

with claws that ripped

right through my tender throat

and tore my voice

from me

pieces of me

would you care to know

what you did to me

when you devoured this little girl

and used her innocence

to satiate your hunger

you ripped me into pieces

until, separate from all feeling

i became numb

to the consumption

of my parts

you cut my voice from me

so that i can never sing

or scream for help

you cut my heart from me

so that i can never love

or express anger

you cut my mind from me

so i can’t trust my reason

or my rhyme

you cut my hands from me

so that i can never touch

or push away

you cut my feet from me

so that i can never dance

or run away

you cut my ears from me

so i can’t hear tender words

or words of danger

you cut my nose from me

so that i can’t smell the flowers

or the fumes

you cut my eyes from me

so i can’t see the light

in this darkness

you cut my womb from me

so that i can’t feel pleasure

without pain

and i give birth

to death

like humpty dumpty

cracked open and exposed

and broken into

oh so many pieces

that even these King’s men

can’t put me back

together again

little girl hush

little girl

little girl

hush

you make too much

joyful noise

the evil ones will hear

and you will get what you deserve

if you attract attention

they will stifle your cries of joy

till they become cries of pain

little girl

little girl

hush

you make too much

anguished noise

the holy one will hear

and they will get what they deserve

if you attract attention

they will stifle your cries of pain

till they become silent tears

little girl

little girl

hush

cutting in

Love,

why do you let him cut in

when you dance with me

to take me for a spin

of frenetic spirals

on the floor

i look o’er my shoulder

for your protective gaze

but i can’t seem to find you

in the room

and i can’t escape his grasp

as he pulls me tightly

into his obscene gyrations

Love,

come tap me on the shoulder

once again

for my feet are weary of this dance

of death

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