As a child a macho told me to close
my legs or he’d take me to a dark room
& make me cry. I closed
my legs. He asked me
to give him a kiss. I gave him
a kiss. I could not stop crying,
& he could not understand why.
My father was a ghost
in our house. He would not speak
for days, then drop a glass of water
on the kitchen floor. My mother
always swept up his shatters
& buried them in the yard.
At thirteen a macho put his hands
on my knees, then became tarantula,
travelled up my skirt. I didn’t scream
because I felt chosen. I felt lucky
he had chosen me to be hunted.
Machos hunt to watch women
in orgasm. Not because they like
to see women in pleasure,
but because they like to watch
women close to death.
Machos don’t know what it is
to give birth
to the dead. Machos know
pleasure through release. Machos
hunt to give pain & to witness
pleasure. To testify:
the resurrection of the body.
I will not apologize
for my desire to love a macho
who could crush my skull
with his bare fists.
I apologize to a daughter
for telling her to close her legs.
Machos are hunting, always hunting
to see women close to death.
I work two jobs & still come home
to an empty pantry. I am a bad woman
when I can’t feed hunger. My labor:
the taste of bleach after an alacrán stings my feet.
I write to machos & never
send my letters. In the age
of los Zetas, I am a lucky
hembra: I have a language
to write of the violence of machos.
I watch the azahars grow into lemons
machos pull too early from their branches.
I slice each lemon’s rind into translucent
sheets & place each little sun under
the tongue of my macho who eats & eats.
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