Off the Coast of Seattle, 1992

-published online October 2014, at Drunk In A Midnight Choir.



It was never my face that launched ships.
I had no designs, Big Man – put your pointed finger away.

The land ends in stones licked smooth by promise –
I was a suggestion at best
             a lighthouse far distant
             a sail half-furled, rattling on the breeze
             a tune half-carried over water
I just said things you didn’t listen to.

Blame the cartographer’s jape – a penciled mermaid in uncharted sea, an absent compass rose.

Blame the ubiquitous telescope.
I booked no passage, hired no oarsmen;
The ships were not my idea.

Once I penned a love note. All girls do.
I looked in a mirror and wrote a song.

I boiled no spells over braziers.
I scrawled a swear across my belly
& set Olympia on fire with a magic fucking marker –
a good accident. There was feedback. I sound good with feedback.

I offered up an anthem and a good pair of boots,
                             a heart like a hand drum,
                             a keening like you never heard,
                             a riot.

Go on – call me bitch again like you mean it.
Call me Siren and spit.
I am Queen Cunt of Fuck Mountain and I don’t owe you shit.
You’re just mad this isn’t about you.
For the sake of clarity: this was never about you.

Let’s get this straight, Big Man –
I never stole your sister.
I never corrupted your daughter.
When men tied themselves to masts, afraid to drown,
When they stuffed their ears not to listen,
I never hijacked your girlfriend.

I hoisted no sails.
I waved no semaphore.

I only opened my mouth.