look of disdain
always pointing my direction
with pursed lips and perfect manners
her body spoke to me,
"you will never do."
From the floor up, I know
that is she correct.
Far better than her,
I know, nothing I do
will ever be enough
How did I get in the door,
where were the fact checkers
when my history followed me
down the marbled halls?
Can her eyes really see
the awkward humility,
the exclamations of
"you will never do"
Suitable, other girls
could be weighed,
measured and found
to be highly suitable.
familiar territory to
girls like me, girls
who did right by you
in the dark and in the light,
even though our homes,
our last names, our stories
made us seem otherwise.
Girls like me understood
a mother's broken heart,
a hope for fulfilled dreams
even if in the hands
of the child that took theirs.
I could have been
hands to hold the mirror
that would have shown
you that our faces, our
"you will never do" pasts
were not so unalike.
I could have held you
as you left a world
that you did not
know how to love.
I could have,
wiped your face,
smoothed your hair
as you learned
that the girl
who will never do
what no one
because she is
suitable for such
a moment in time.
She wore little teeth of pearls around her neck.
They were grinning politely and evenly at me.
Unsuitable they smirked. It is true
I look a stuffed turkey in a suit. Breasts
too big for the silhouette. She knew
at once that we had sex, lots of it
as if I had strolled into her diningroom
in a dirty negligee smelling gamy
smelling fishy and sporting a strawberry
on my neck. I could never charm
the mothers, although the fathers ogled
me. I was exactly what mothers had warned
their sons against. I was quicksand
I was trouble in the afternoon. I was
the alley cat you don't bring home.
I was the dirty book you don't leave out
for your mother to see. I was the center-
fold you masturbate with then discard.
Where I came from, the nights I had wandered
and survived, scared them, and where
I would go they never imagined.
Ah, what you wanted for your sons
were little ladies hatched from the eggs
of pearls like pink and silver lizards
cool, well behaved and impervious
to desire and weather alike. Mostly
that's who they married and left.
Oh, mamas, I would have been your friend.
I would have cooked for you and held you.
I might have rattled the windows
of your sorry marriages, but I would
have loved you better than you know
how to love yourselves, bitter sisters.