Howl, or Think of It Like This:
for M. Mitchell
Picture a womb that says, Closed! I don’t give life cheap. Tell me a charge
wouldn’t run through you—I’m not asking you to agree. I’m saying, Imagine it.
Ask what else could be imagined, even if you don’t agree. I’m saying, I’m through.
I’ve tired of all sides, navels, hips. I’ve cut out, slipped away, self–entombed.
Maxine said they cut her at the navel and hips, slipped her tubes out by her sides;
smiling, she claimed to heal like Wolverine—had never felt more alive.
She smiled like a wolf while telling me—the lines of her healed, ashine.
I wanted to feel that new again, I could have cried. Let’s just say it’s the end.
Let’s say I want to feel new again by ending with me. No crying;
no cryptic, somnolent genes. No emergent face like mine. No child.
I’ve emerged from the cryptic: No like–faced child of mine—O, somnolent
genetic hope!—is coming. I am here and trying to make that enough.
I am here and trying to make that enough, coming to hope
as I picture myself charged not to give life cheap—a woman untold.
© Variant Literature Inc 2023