First Lesson in Violence

Issue 3 | Summer 2019 |



There are occasions when I say, Pull yourself together, bitch.
It could be worse. You could be living in Ancient Greece
when women had to turn into Laurel trees to avoid getting raped
By Apollo, and even then it was no guarantee.

Even if you weren’t a woman,
I say again to myself, this time in a mirror.
Just look at poor Prometheus, oozing from the gut
For an eternity on a cliffside, proving that if you could get punished
For gifting the world fire, you should worry about breathing too loudly through the nose
while eating a sandwich.

If the Greeks dipped their toes into blood,
the Romans were the true harbingers of hurt,
leaving a trail of perverted emperors and murder
through the dark ages up until today—It has never really been
a good time for us humans, has it?– which is why I have lied
to every man I’ve ever loved— told them I come from better
stock than this

redneck blood grandpa who beat the hell out of his wife
and shot her lover in the chest. I pretend that when the beginning
of time happened, the firstborn wasn’t a man, and he didn’t nurse
so hard he tore the breast from his mother’s bone.
Because that’s what the myth would say,
That we still have her blood in our mouth.