When did I start shaking at the sound of car horns,
Bible-thumping black men? Was it when I
You close me into this dress,
with a zip.
You fasten me to these shiny shoes,
with a click.
I find trouble.
I meet bad men,
cigarettes laced with lipstick.
I find sharp objects, and plastic bags.
marked with skulls,
and I drink from them.
I start having children.
Cruel notebooks and lingerie and
chewed down fingertips and secrets;
windows that set me free into the big world and wristwatches
that alert me when it’s time
to pretend to sleep.
I start reaping.
I skin all the fibers and pluck at loose folds,
and burn my pinks,
my lavender, greens,
my soft colors and I break
my baby hair into a tangled concoction
You forbade forbidding God,
and open roads,
That’s when it happened.
Just this yesterday.