writing manifestos on cocktail napkins

Daughter
Nicole Blackman

One day I’ll give birth to a tiny baby girl
and when she’s born she’ll scream
and I’ll tell her to never stop.

I will kiss her before I lay her down at night
and will tell her a story so she knows
how it is and how it must be for her to survive.

I’ll tell hr to set things on fire
and keep them burning.
I’ll teach her that fire will not consume her,
that she must use it.

I’ll tell her people must earn the right
to use her nickname,
that forced intimicacy is an ugly thing.

I’ll help her see that she will not find God
or salvation in a dark brick building
built by dead men.

I’ll make sure she always carries a pen
so she can take down the evidence.
If she has no paper, I’ll teach her to
write everything down with her tongue,
write it on her thighs.

I’ll make her keep reinventing herself and run fast.
I’ll teach her to write her manifestos
on cocktail napkins.
I’ll say she should make men lick her ambition.
I’ll make her understand that she is worth more
with her clothes on.
I’ll teach her to talk hard.

I’ll tell her that when the words come too fast
and she has no use for a pen
that she must quit her job
run out of the house in her bathrobe,
leave the door open.
I’ll teach her to follow the words.

They will try to make her stay,
comfort her, let her sleep, bathe her in a television blue glow.
I will cut her hair, tell her to light the house on fire,
kill the kittens,
when nothing is there
nothing will keep her
and she is not to be kept.

I’ll say that everything she has done seen spoken
has brought her to the here this now.
This is no time for tenderness,
no time to stand, waiting for them to find her.
There are nations within her skin.
Queendoms come without keys you can carry.

I’ll teach her that she has an army inside her
that can save her life.
I’ll teach her to be whole, to be holy.
I’ll teach her how to live,
to be so much that she doesn’t even
need me anymore.
I’ll tell her to go quickly and never come back.
Things get broken fast here.

I will make her stronger than I ever was.

Turned at twenty
she’ll break into bits of star
and throw herself against the sky.

(1999 is an excellent year
to disappear)

I will not let them destroy her life
the way they destroyed mine.

I’ll tell her to never forget what they did to you
and never let them know you remember.

Never forget what they did to you
Never let them know you remember.

Never forget what they did to you
Never let them know you remember.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s