INSECURE IN 2015 by Cari V
I’m insecure because my life is a commodity
I couldn’t see my shadow on dirt sidewalks
or roam rancher’s cicada roads
by crystal ball moonlight.
Since my parent’s feared I’d be swept off
by a masked cowboy who would
de-value my vaginal price tag.
For this same fear, skirts and dresses
never rode above my velvet knees.
So I would not provoke a man’s gawk
into a heavy-handed grope on the street.
Despite this, boys my age touched me
“on accident” in crowded 6th grade halls.
Teachers glared at me because of this,
turned their heads and let me pay
the admission price to let my limbs breathe
with a stroke of warm flesh
and a bubble of shame bursting
in my pre-teen chest’s floral cavities.
My adult legs became a Buddhist monk’s head.
Because female body hair parallels
un-flushed shit in a public toilet.
Armpit fuzz like mine starts hurricanes
if I lift my arms at the right moment.
After all, I’m Mother Nature’s daughter.
But silicone and butcher’s tables make women famous.
Girls that should be leaping barefoot on caterpillar grass
with sweaty hair and ice cream sugar under fingernail dirt,
are couch-locked. Visual surgeons analyzing perfect breasts
while their mothers pop thin lips into shot glasses for hashtags,
wishing for butts like tempur pedic pillows and pretty.
Pretty’s found in gaudy gyms and plastic treats
for married men who will pay the light bill,
or in isle 4 at H-E-B where pretty prints
on paper napkins salute tired shoppers.
Pretty is motel art shrugging at your naked body.
Pretty is as empty and dissatisfying as boring.
And pregnancy’s watered down to a couple’s chicken dinner.
His gun stored under the King bed in the master suite of a suburban dream.
A woman with a baby without picket fences or the Brawny man’s broad chest
won’t need a cartoon lumberjack to chop down 50s housewife rhetoric.
Single mothers are warriors of birth and work and late-night runs to supermarkets.
They wrestle coat closet ogres and launder Washington scum, lavender fresh.
Because politicians need to be washed and dried until clean again.
These men slash and vacuum all women before conception.
There’s no “ovaries are private property” bible verse to protect us.
White men in office make rules for women’s bodies, preaching
that “we all make choices,” but not knowing what a choice is.
A choice is oatmeal and black coffee for breakfast in the Capitol.
A choice is not my name leading to racist comments my whole childhood.
A choice is not verbal assault when your breasts grow into button shadows.
A choice is not the monthly sacrifice of the blushing pink deity between my thighs.
A choice is not immigrant parents who won’t understand my poetry’s language.
A choice is not the label slut for liking sex and not giving a shit who knows.
A choice is not white men in government offices questioning my marriage.
I wasn’t born in the U.S.A. so I’m probably here to exploit the benefits.
My tongue-twister patterns may be terroristic threats in Spanish.
The nopal on my forehead may be harboring illegals—
Or better yet, smuggling duct-taped bags of mota under hubcaps.
I’ve grown and breathed and lived in Texas long enough to know
the shit ignorant government employees will say to step on my culture.
Minorities are mocked by the jester’s premise of liberty and justice for all.
Uncle Sam throws pies at our blurred faces on the 4th of July.
He pisses on us with chemical fireworks spraying pesticides on immigrant fields.
Feeds us engineered hotdogs at parks so our calories kill us before income tax.
Our government tries to tell us that white men are not privileged
because the glass ceiling’s shattered to pieces.
That police brutality is a trust issue and rape is a lie for women to play victimized.
Dollar-deals on beef don’t come with a side of cancer.
Education isn’t second to world domination.
Gun-slinging civilians on school campuses keep students safe.
Racism was buried with MLK ,
and Mexican women’s issues were Frida Kahlo’s painted imagination.
I can’t buy any of this when only white men’s ‘choices’ lead to political careers,
while our brothers and sisters are aborted into cement prison cells for our DNA.
White formulas don’t flow in our veins so our brains haven’t evolved the right way.
I learned Nazis in 5th grade.
Bell Hooks and the Chicanas had to wait until my college days.
Now I’m scared that it’s too late.
Texas plays Tara in Gone with the Wind, guarded and gated to keep out aliens.
Trend-starter Arizona has a governor whose humanity melted in desert climate.
Indiana is like our currency, blaming God for men’s actions.
Florida stands its ground but only so black youth can crowd caskets.
The melting pot is burning like Baltimore’s suffocating under racist blankets.
I’m insecure because how can I not be?
America’s been sloppy for so long that the seams are still showing.
The pot is overflowing and now technology’s got our minds evolving,
revolving around revolvers because our peaceful protests accomplished nothing.
Should we pull on neon balaclavas and set fire to the flag in Austin?
Or swallow the charcoal air of discrimination and boots stomping
over dry Middle-East mountains and African plains?
Our hearts are bottled with gasoline rags and muffled with radio waves that
escape through holes in our pockets, bullet holes in our friend’s heads,
and cancer shredding cells in our mother’s breasts.
I’m insecure because my life is a fucking commodity