Escape: a Poem

Dedicated to Shyami Nazzaro

All this talk of aesthetics – the paint that flakes my hair, the charcoal that stains my knuckles. I wanted to be an artist.

(I wanted to take your breath away.)

I thought of the beauty of certain words – “freesia” and “chenille”,

the names of pagan saints (mortal gods) and constellations.

I lingered over dictionaries (their pages – paper butterfly wings) like some inhaled memories of past lives through pages of scrapbooks & photo albums.

No one told me what I could be – impossible, beautiful, wild.

They concentrated on limitations (liminal spaces where you could confine a woman’s worth inside of a box – a jewelry box, a shadow box, a coffin).

No one told me what I could be (only what I could not).

& those limitations (those barbed wire boundaries, those glass boxes) became my home.

To the west, I could smell foxglove and to the east, oleander. Though everything inside of me reeked of woodsmoke & perhaps, petrichor’s sinister cousin –

the stale cologne of former lovers,

I thought I could liberate myself.

(Theoretically, was it still primativism if we go back to paradise

where there was simply you & I?)

2 thoughts on “Escape: a Poem

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