Minefields

The moment when a feeling enters the body/
is political. This touch is political/* said Rich
the year I was born a girl. The minefields

of my husband’s black body, mine,
my sons’ white bodies, mine, proliferate.
Text fields. Silent white woman mother wife

poet, keep quiet. (Not) your stories to write. Mine.
My body ignores their borders, knows what lies
beneath a temple, gun, knee, has hung from trees.

Keep them all alive, three hearts beat/en outside
my body, mine, blood I built and build with touch.
I turn down, muffle public words. Cannot speak

for the men I serve, lives, minds (not) mine. Mine.
I tiptoe, tremble, touch their skin, wrap arms
around them in the dark, in the kitchen.**

* from Adrienne Rich, “The Blue Ghazals,” in The Will to Change, 1971

** “To protect a loved one, you should wrap yourself around their head and shoulders with your back to the device. You then become a shield against the shrapnel.” from Attacks of Terror: Surviving the Unthinkable, by J. Brett Earnest, 2003

2020

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