(An old poem of mine, a little something for International Women’s Day. May we all deflect our bullets).
When observed from across the kitchen,
her bracelets are unending coils of red and blue
curved around wrists of steel, gauntlets that
deflect bullets, laser beams, showers of crushed cubes.
Look closer: it’s just a mother
keeping madness at bay with
paper cups, the bottoms cut out.
Instead of ice, she chews the edges of
her veins. The cold bothers her teeth,
makes it hard to hear the rabbit in the window.
Once, she opened a man’s heart.
Once, she stopped the moon from breaking.
Her apron strings unravel, cascading toward earth
in a coiled arc. If she knots them again and again,
she can turn back time. Before my birth, her tongue
tasted a dozen languages. Now when she crosses her wrists
in front of her, even her daughter cannot get through.
I am a weapon of her own making, gravitational
planet crashing every moment.
She will reach up to find the coarse salt,
expose the soft underbelly, the Amazon heart.
Once, she saved the planet.
Once, she took off her bracelets.
Once, she saved her fury
for a better place. The earth moves.
Light speeds through glass, freezing us
in this island of kitchen. Her truth
rubs our hearts raw with its constant shift.