Barefoot, Faster, Wiser

vintage hand knit Barbie doll clothes 005

Photo by Tinker*Tailor loves Lalka via Flickr

I’m not like girls in pretty shoes.
Sky high yellows, oranges, pinks
written down quick ‘cause somebody smiled
and wanted so bad to remember.

Feels right, lifting youth and verve,
‘cause light makes right and pretty is light
calling from the altar in his pocket every time
he wants to be heard.

Those unenlightened somebodies (men?) believe they’ve taken my lagging pulse,
“poor, poor girl,” but unh uh. They measured mine
against theirs boomping fast as high heels crossed the floor
under ‘easy’ dresses with metal supports.

(Pause while they fall to their knees, hands pressed together.
Blessed Structure. Good bones. Silicone. Pray.)
God speaks to them in a vocal-fried creaky voice
dotted with question marks. Always.

I don’t talk like those girls, and won’t be taught.
I’m messy but aware when riled or coaxed by the real dark.
I shimmy around corners, warm like nectar, razor showing.
Yes, warm. I do cool when I decide. One can always ask.

Sweethearts in sherbet shoes
only slow me down when they get attention and I don’t.
Then I loose and ease into stride, barefoot and faster. Wiser.
I say, “Go ahead, don’t look. You’ll miss me.”

I say what I want in my corner because real beauties will,
prickling nerves or smearing an edge just found
with the real properties of light.
I do because I can, I will and I won’t are my favorite words.

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Maps

Photo by Ré Harris

You hesitate,
hands to yourself,
quiet.
Someone said your question was wrong.
That wasn’t me
measuring cool
like whiskey.

Lean close,
I’ll kiss you back.

Or ask me,

choosing I heard you words,
if you’re afraid.
Say my name,
the one I told you a hundred ways,
hinted by word,
body spoken,
mouth curled around sound.

Do you want a map?
See more of me.
I’ll unfold mine then, smoothing creases,
possible routes becoming sharp
as clear morning sky.
Follow whichever beckons,
though better to make your own.

What they meant, I think,
when measurers tied your hands.

Lean close.