There is no lavender in her.
No lily or silk. My mother
Warned me any woman
That covets woman, contains
Danger, You just run, so
I nodded and looked away.
My mother who has twice
Come between brothers.
Mother, whose body demands
A constant voltage. Her vision
Trained to movement, sight
To put a bead on anything weak,
And anything else. I am so
Much like you, and yet
As we look in the mirror, the woman
There raises her other eyebrow,
Turns her head away in refusal.
I cannot explain my body to
The one who made my body. I can’t
Explain how I have divined women
Out of their disguises, not peaches,
Not roses, not waxen leaves covering
The slit of origin some men would
Give life to claw back into. The woman
I am contains no lavender, just red dawns
And a throat hard enough to hold this
Voice within. Let the world run from me,
Unless I turn my back, as you have,
Mother, the other way.
Kristi Carter has poems published or forthcoming in journals such as Spillway Magazine, So to Speak, CALYX Journal, and Hawai’i Review. She is originally from the foothills of North Carolina. She currently lives in Nebraska.