Phenomenon, by Tawni Waters

What is it to be a phenomenon
a force of nature
a slick bolt of lighting
gashing
burning orange
the papery blue of the sky?
To ride waves of one’s mind
so thick
they drown out all other noises
the cacophony of tired voices
singing acquiescence
into the wind,
their footsteps plodding
slowly deliberately quietly
to the grave
unseeing unengaged
lest they upend stones
bend grass blades
cause cardinals to volcano
from trees
explode into blurred red wing visions
and terrified thumb-throated song.

Oh great mountain,
blinding sea,
trinity of life,
invisible edges of three
white faces
that paint purple the walls of my horizon

let me
not be
that.

Rather,
let me be a cat
that lolls
and springs
and tears
rats from their places
caring not for the screams
of the landlord.
Let me be a frayed wire
electric
hectic.
Let me shock to life
those who dare touch me.

Let me never be a possession,
a thin, reedy, well-kept thing.
Let me not be pretty
but thick-thighed
and fierce.
Let me howl my name to the sky
in the violet crease left between
the folded pages of
midnight and dawn.
Let me stalk
the backbone
of God
searching
for the nape
of her neck.
When I find it
I will kiss it
gently
leaving lipstick
on her spine
making her mine
calling her not God
but Mother.

She will smile
though she could tear me to pieces,
retract her claws
and lick my lips.

She sees
her heart

in my eyes.

About Tawni Waters