Trending »
Related »

SHE — Patricia Brooks

on January 3 | in Poetry | by | with No Comments

When she was born, they said,

You are small.  Remember this.

Feel these safety pins

anchoring our strings in your palms.

She said,

So far, I’m just watching.

When she began to walk, they said,

Keep your chin down and

carry this urn on your head

like your very own

porcelain pitcher enclosing

the flower of your worth.

She said,

I often trip.

Out.

They kept her in Rapunzel’s room;

but when her eyes reached the sill,

she clambered down that iron

and gulped urine-yellow phrases

off the sidewalk:

Dig it, people,

a soul can dance only

to its own beat.

They said,

Shit. Already the street dirt.

Take the brand and

shove it up.

Bind her up, they said,

She grew curiously calm and she grew

curiously taller, wore

pink gloves and cast-iron pantyhose,

spoke only when she was

spoken to, saying

I am studying. You are my models.

Your every syllable and sign

is stamped on my skin.

They were pleased, gave more play to the leash, said,

So long as you are good,

you may go and come.

This is called Freedom.

She said,

I want one of that and

two of those and I want them

now.

They said,

You are doing well.

But her body parts grew unruly,

began leaping, would not

stoop to their tasks.

Bind her up, they said,

everything but the breasts.

We like breasts.

Make your own milk, she said,

and even as they watched,

she embedded herself in their

newmown cement and fell silent.

Bang as they might, her skin

made no sound.

Sometimes though,

oh, every full moon or so, comes a thuck

of a sound, like unstuck footsteps, going

suck-er-u, suck-er-u, suck…

But of course they are certain

they must be mistaken.

 

 

Patricia Brooks is the  former Managing and Fiction Editor of the Northwest Review literary journal.  She has published two novels (Dell) and stories and poetry in a variety of print and on-line publications. Her newest novel is  Whose Little Girl Are You?

 

 

 

 

 

Pin It

Related Posts

« »

Recent Posts

News

Safia Elhilo

2 Poems

Michele Robinson\'s Art [...]

Let Me Straddle Your Mind

X.J. Kennedy

The Crusader

Why did you leave bring m [...]

Yeah bring our electric shaver back, I bought it we shaved each others back it was important to me and

Kwame Dawes

Kwame Dawes

BEFORE YOU – Kwame  [...]

1 Yes, we were country, lived in shotgun shacks, where the road loses its way to dirt and live oaks

MENSTRUAL FLOWERS – [...]

[new_royalslider id="11"] Courtesy of the artist and Mizuma Art Gallery  

WHAT THE WOMB ISN’T [...]

         "Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leav

JUNOT DIAZ

Junot' Diaz and Edison, NJ

EDISON, NEW JERSEY – [...]

The first time we try to deliver the Gold Crown the lights are on in the house but no on

Rachel Eliza Griffiths [...]

Elegy & Poem

The March on Washington:  [...]

OTHER WORLD: A Conversati [...]

"We are all the other."

I OPEN A BOX

…and find inside a picture, of myself as a child, sitting on a small chair, wearing overalls and sho

Naive Paintings

Raphael Perez

CIRCLES OF THE MOON & [...]

To Alex, on turning two Some say the Ring of Brogar is the Circle of the Moon. There is n

In This Issue

March on Washington An Interview with Cheryl Evans

5 POINTZ: GRAFFITI MECCA  [...]

In a strange twist of what seemed like reverse vandalism, the Graffiti Mecca was painted over.

In This Issue

Forest Gander A Translation

In This Issue

Quassan Castro, poem Grandson to Grandmother

URBAN CANVAS: Wynwood Wal [...]

Wynwood Walls, of Miami has been called "a Museum of the Streets."

Pulaski Skyway

Low like the mean dream of Newark the sky must have seemed to its builders. Rickety now, unhinging, I

THE SPAN & OTHER POE [...]

At last, the extremes of his present methods seemed to offer the happiest avenues. The strengthening

Paul Latorre

5th Limb Poems

Joan Larkin

Poem, Knot

Gina Loring, Def Poetry [...]

Poem, Look This Way

In This Issue

Xue Du, Poem

AT THE END OF THE DREAM I [...]

A woman      in a black kimono      dyed black hair disappeared      behind a black curtain I

Marge Piercy

Poem: Behind the War On Women

Naive Paintings

Raphael Perez

Marie Miazziotti -Gillam [...]

Maria Mizzotti-Gillan

Vicky Dantel

Short Story

In This Issue

Pilar Fraile Amador poem

Quassan Castro

Poem

Lugensky Durosier [...]

Lady Haiti

In This Issue

David Trinidad

In This Issue

Landzy Theodore

In This Issue

Angelo Nikolopoulos

Scroll to top