grandma wrote in flickering candlelight as the world went pitch-black , seeking the arms of safety in the verses she wrote on her gypsy skin . she wrote about men riding horses and bringing along regal palanquins to take her to a big city where women like us had a safe haven , a home , somewhere far where women no longer have to sacrifice . well, men did come but not riding a horse or with a palanquin . they came with arms so big they dim your stars, turn off the last bits of your flame downright snatch your soul from the body . they brought wreckers , mortars and artilleries instead of palanquins . they came with hounds that tore her from limb to limb .
every night he thrashed in and tossed her to the bed , his intoxicated breath stinking of the cheap wine his father bequeathed to him, that his mother's breath reek of at dawn and then he brushed his mouth against her lips, cold and silent as icicles. "I like my girls cold and silent ," he said to you , his rusted nails biting into her flesh. she wrote in flames, an epigraphy of her plaintive cries from the night before that he muffled in his big fat hand , the flames burning it down every time . " husband's mistakes are just like a poem -- easy to burn ." the stench of his mouth still hanging from her lips like immortalized cadavers
she shingled her hair short because it smelled of him even after the night was over Never wrote again "everytime a woman wrote her child would bleed to death ." her poems mourned her between the threads that stitched her lacerations . we said run as fast as you can but she stood there waiting for him to toss her to the bed , as if it was an obligation to let him predate , as if earth had locked her feet to the ground .
"everytime a woman ran Lucifer would come to annihilate the city ," but grandma i did write and i did run as fast as i could from these artilleries and wreckers carrying the shreds of my poems in my mouth . to women who had a home and men who taught me love can be beautiful too .
grandma , here's to you and all the women who came before me but died unheard, whose bodies are lined along the coastline of my back -- your voice is Sylvia Plath's shriek , your memory a tragedy abandoned by Shakespeare underneath my mattress . here's to my ancestors , women like us are just like poems -- we survive .