This is for my sisters whose hearts break open with each new dawn.
For those who feel their pulse so desperate in their temples
for beating hearts bruising tremulous veins
for those wearing skin like suits of armor:
gladiators passing as sister, mother, daughter, friend,
our breasts and waistlines labeled with adjectives not seen in anatomy textbooks
our hearts and brains left unnameable, undiscovered,
we become more than the sum of our pieces
as some of our parts scream to be known as alive.
This is for my sisters who pray in the Temple of Disbelief.
For those who worship in the Temple of Disaster, of Shame,
who pray to the goddess of Just-One-More-Day,
who try to find one thing worth believing in,
this is for my sisters
who can't find how to live life in the skin they were born,
who kneel at the altar
purging their life-force to uncover their hidden essence
their hearts too full of life to recognize what they
are dying for.
This is for my sisters who play Russian roulette with their bodies
believe they'll never die since they're the ones with the gun
counting each tick on the adrenaline scale
rocking out to the sound of heart on bone or heart on skin:
it's the game we play, praying to the god of perfectionistic sin
hoping the shroud of insecurity accentuates our lifelines
and humility compliments the tone of our skin.
She fires the blanks without a blink - living can seem so close to death
and Control is the name Fear gives her lover
before the silence shatters.
We've all stepped on sidewalk cracks or over lucky pennies
on the days we weren't looking
we've pushed beauty from our stomachs
squeezed it from our scars
we leave behind a hologram of who we could have been
mashed into a 3-D mirage of what we try to be
massage our temples to rub out our dreams
conjure the genie from the magic lamp of our mind, praying: