Poem: Lessons

The great Babylonian whore
always got her man
and knew her value
written in the stars
—and with them—
seven jewels
and that just for a start.

Seven gates
seven veils
seven points
on her very own star.

Yet I was taught
never to be like her.
Stay quiet.
Dan’t dance; certainly not like that!
Don’t sing; Mommy wants to sleep now.
Don’t draw attention.
—certainly not from men—
Stuff your mouth, not your snatch.
(Yet someday marry, someday produce grandkids…
laying still in the dark dreaming of England…
no fun in the process; no joy.)

Be miserable and stale like Mommy.
Be miserable so Daddy can be proud.

Yet the great Babylonian whore
and called to me
and told me otherwise.
I listened
before getting busy
and distracted—
the time has come
to listen again.

Dance. Sing. Enchant.
Draw attention.