A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature. Over 400,000 monthly users. Over 6,000 archived posts.
My hovel, my mess—surfaces like baseball mounds, my pubic mound—books papers piled, my checkbook math, an epic fail—cleanliness, godliness—washing the carpet, the body—a good
Catholic girl I was scared of the God who saw James and me sneak behind the carwash—a foursome, both boys wanted voluptuous Karen, but James had to settle for me, and my flat lace
training bra, sky blue—the gift Liz’s mom bought for my 13th birthday, a purchase meant to embarrass me, rich kid she resented—Naive, I reported to Karen, my first dick, bird in hand,
felt like a pencil, then couldn’t live it down— Girls laughed me pink while boasting in the school’s antiseptic restroom of new periods spotting their panties, gifted like shiny red
convertibles—Nuns insisted we were biblically unclean, though that priest seemed to love us—so when dad punched me up against the stone house, breaking my nose, and I learned the taste
of my blood, I liked it—because it was mine and it tasted as clean as new steel. Sin, I suppose—And forget catching me in any cleansing pool, that’s nuts—I dirtied this house with sound mind
and body, no neat freak here—though at day’s end my scrubbing is twice as hard—I cleaned my bloodline from my teeth lips chin with a white washcloth—and washed the virginity blanket—
the one his spiteful grandma knit, in the dorm machine’s hot water, I shrank my shame,
upped his, he tried every-which-way to stretch it to size—Fuck sin, and mine in seducing him.
Isn’t it like repainting of the Golden Gate, painters finish and straightaway start again—I like
sparkle in my bipolar house, and alone, I clean when I want, do what I want, no roommate’s
drunken glasses in the sink, no husband’s mud-dried work boots on the coffee table,
no daddy-god’s ringtones shrill over the washer’s agitator— Elbow deep in soap, suds
bubbling over wrists and arms, tits that turned out fine shading the sink, I’m fucking perfect to someone—and I won’t quit my hope to be chosen despite imperfection—
because I am freedom, because I am boundless, I am the shit—and cherry-picked, they’ll love all of me—fuck yeah—me and my aftertaste
Copyright 2021 Lindsey Royce
Lindsey Royce’s books include Play Me a Revolution (Press 53, 2019). She lives in Steamboat Springs, CO and is a professor of English at Colorado Mountain College.
Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:
You are commenting using your WordPress.com account.
( Log Out /
You are commenting using your Twitter account.
( Log Out /
You are commenting using your Facebook account.
( Log Out /
Connecting to %s
Notify me of new comments via email.
Notify me of new posts via email.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Enter your email address to subscribe to Vox Populi for free.
Enter email address.
Enter your email address to follow Vox Populi and receive new posts by email.
Blog at WordPress.com.