Just This Yesterday

When did I start shaking at the sound of car horns,
raised voices,
Bible-thumping black men? Was it when I
forbade God?
Grew loud?
Got struck?

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
of rage.

You forbade forbidding God,
and open roads,
and noise.

That’s when.

That’s when it happened.

Just this yesterday.

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