Sunday, April 4, 2010

30/30 Day 3

March 2, 2010

College liquor says
Time Flies When You’re Having
Rum. Tonight time flies fast
as a working woman’s public bus:
A standstill. College liquor
wouldn’t notice, it’s the only
thing moving or lit

Women are howling shrilly, as is the custom
at the culmination of this…
they are joining the chief priest
offering their earthenware pots
overflowing with rice and jaggery
to the presiding goddess

On the junction tonight
it’s 10— it could be 4 I
could be 1,000 years old
like you and you
could need that change
for anything. I don’t have any.

An aerial view is the only means
of calculating the width
of women. Pinprick sized
saris, three million bellies
three million sternums— hearths
hung from trees and planted
along river

Target makes a poor streetlight
College Liquor is spitting
out lottery tickets—
crumpled balls that pile up
around my bare ankles. Strangers
grab my wrists when I don’t fall
to my scraped knees at their request—
eyelashes sore from batting
strained to find sky above belts

There is nothing like this anywhere
else in the world. It is amazing,
the way a whole city makes arrangements
for women to make this offering

Well-concealed pentecostal calves
scowl at my thick thighs and miniskirt
I’ve worn for two weeks straight. This
is a ritual— the journey home,
the bachelor’s degree. This
is no explanation. This is
the wrong side of a new Brooklyn

At the end of the ceremony
a small plane hovers above the masses
showering flowers

Somewhere in my dirty sheets
there is a hand capable
of catching arrows. I keep a knife
in my skirt pocket. Two men, strangers,
touched me tonight— one
whipping me around demanding eyes

There is a long return
to now blessed homes. A girl gang
three million strong wondering countryside,
each one departing down small roads
where children anxiously wait.

The other, lunging palms first
Catching my breasts solid between his
strange weight and College Liquors.
This is the difference between
what I told you I wanted
and what I don’t know how to protect.

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