I feel prettiest in lavender lipstick.
I belong in velvet dresses.
a sparrow flies around the rafters at the roundhouse.
she is warm now, I think.

I keep my pink pepper spray on the table.
I drink tea called the “iron goddess of mercy.”
for once, it doesn’t burn this iron goddess tongue
that pouts, howls, and breathes fire.

“life is not a rose garden,” she said this morning
but at least let me smell like roses half the time,
wash my hair with honey shampoo and
my body with brown sugar.

the body no longer just a shell but a shelter.

they think I’m feminine, they don’t feel my edge.
I think the years have softened everything but my mind.
parts of me are clove, the others bloom lavender fields.
I am a seed bank. I am hot compost in the sun. 
I am sprouting, full, thick, withering flower and water.

yesterday, I untangled myself from him, deleted his number,
and bought men’s underwear. I walked past a church and wanted to go inside. I wanted to be warm and connected to something higher through song except I didn’t want to connect to their mangod. so I opened the door of my church: my ‘96 honda civic, turned the heat on and the radio low, and wrote my own lyrics over any melody bursting through with fuzz.

I say what I need to and it leaps out of me, you know?
like my mouth is some kind of parting sea, 
not parted by some mangod but by me-
in my brave choice to let my truth not just come forward 

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