Your daughter is ugly.
She knows loss intimately,
carries whole cities in her belly.
As a child, relatives wouldn’t hold her.
She was splintered wood and sea water.
They said she reminded them of the war.
On her fifteenth birthday you taught her
how to tie her hair like rope
and smoke it over burning frankincense.
You made her gargle rosewater
and while she coughed, said
macaanto girls like you shouldn’t smell
of lonely or empty.
You are her mother.
Why did you not warn her,
hold her like a rotting boat
and tell her that men will not love her
if she is covered in continents,
if her teeth are small colonies,
if her stomach is an island,
if her thighs are borders?
What man wants to lay down
and watch the world burn
in his bedroom?
Your daughter’s face is a small riot,
her hands are a civil war,
a refugee camp behind each ear,
a body littered with ugly things,
doesn’t she wear
the world well.
There is joy
in the hair I brush each morning,
in the Cannon towel, newly washed,
that I rub my body with each morning,
in the chapel of eggs I cook
in the outcry from the kettle
that heats my coffee
in the spoon and the chair
that cry “hello there, Anne”
in the godhead of the table
that I set my silver, plate, cup upon
All this is God,
right here in my pea-green house
and I mean,
though often forget,
to give thanks,
to faint down by the kitchen table
in a prayer of rejoicing
as the holy birds at the kitchen window
peck into their marriage of seeds.
So while I think of it,
let me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this God, this laughter of the morning,
lest it go unspoken.
The Joy that isn’t shared, I’ve heard,
Tell me you finally tasted freedom. Don’t lie.
I see it in your eyes. Women lie to their mothers.
Women do not know how to use their own voices
and resort to things deeper. Don’t lie to me.
Tell me you loved to destroy.
Tell me you need me. Please. You are the bones
of my spine. You are the ground beneath my feet.
You are made of deeper stuff than the earth
can give. Admit it: you are lost without the waiting.
Can you even imagine yourself in paradise?
Even the daughter of gods must know loneliness,
must sometimes want nothing more than to be
trapped in a hell of forevers. Thank me, you queen.
I’ve given you forever.
” —Letter from Hades to Persephone, Clementine von Radics (via clementinevonradics)
You lose your virginity to a boy who knows your body better than you do. It’s early evening in June and bright squares of deepening light stretch and lengthen across your bedroom wall. You can hear kids playing in a yard only a few doors down. Between the dulling pain—They said it wouldn’t hurt, they said it wouldn’t hurt, they said it wouldn’t hurt—and the shuddering, you can’t get the kids out of your head. When he’s done you lay side by side, his hands skirting along the lines of drying sweat. His fingers trace the bottom of your stomach and you recoil by instinct. You hate that sensation, of someone touching your stomach, even yourself. He gets up to go before your parents return. He’s only a rake of a boy. He tasted like alkaline to you. He tasted like something thick and burning, like something that would boil your heart inside of your chest if you consumed it.