Iron Woman


Leave those who impose an ugliness onto your face;
when your face shifts into that strange polite
smile made out of stone, the cold glass ball instead of
the friendly open eye, the slithering wall of lizard
skin and metal in your gaze: this is not your face
pay attention to the air in the room,
the way your tongue shrivels,
and a scorpion tail rises in your throat instead,
the way it tastes the salt trigger line against
your upper lip sweat,
when your face shifts into that ugly mask
dragonskin in your gums, and fangs for teeth –
that laugh that is a croaking cackle -pay
attention to the people in the room:
these are the people
who insist on your most powerful spells;
your most ancient half-gift, the kind of gift that is also a curse.
The kind of gift that is a curse first,
a curse worst,
a gift at last, and only sometimes,
but when it is a gift, oh
it is the most glorious gift in all the land: that ultimate
disappearing act,  the alchemic calculation to
transmute air into walls, a gaze into a muzzle,
a face into a mask, tilt the earth Herself, and watch
people stumble on their way to you, that gift
of freedom from anyone you do not want to be around;
no, girl goddess bitch witch: you will never be found

Your “leave me”, whispered and gentle, will be
cyclone, storm, whirlwind picking up the water-veined
out of your life; yes, they will fall somewhere miles away,
a new land, no better and also no worse,
and they will  never find their way back to you; yes,
your magic will rewrite every map to your door, rewire their telephone
contacts;  they will lose you before they ever found you.
You can kill their will to even want to try
and isn’t that power? Why, isn’t that love?

So draw a circle made of salt around your feet,
trace it with the love your own
innards have for you, every cell
that fights for you, and watch
how they scurry away like
rats after taking poison

because your tongue is made of a scorpion’s tail
your voice is a thousand falcons screeching
your fingers can pull the truth out of anyone’s skin
out of anyone’s lying lips
you are a goddess and a bitch and a crazy woman, like it or not,
and when you like it, oh just watch:
when you love yourself, just watch. just watch those
people who were born with water instead of blood
in their veins,  watch as their courage drops
into the arches of their feet
from the lackluster height of their knees
watch how those knees buckle,

watch how those ankles wobble
watch as they try
and try
and try to find youyes, these are the people
you cannot trust with your face
so
give them your mask instead

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3 Responses to Iron Woman

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  2. Pingback: A Witch Is Born | Kshyama's Attic

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