What they have to teach us, I do not know. Something about spoiled milk or how bees become bullies, the frayed benefits of reservation. Backed into corners, most often by themselves, they portray sinister with moll faces, half-shadowed in office hallways. But they are no caricatures of femme fatales; they are their own systems of blood and belief and all the synonyms of vindictive. There was the prim boss in the office downtown overlooking the library. She told me men aren’t worth crying over. They are like trains: another one comes along every fifteen minutes. I was good cop to her bad cop until she turned on me. Then there was the aristocrat of orchards dismissing the riff-raff with her friendly fire. And the Shakespearean villain of Amish country. That was my first time in the tank with a real shark. And then the one who literally put curses on people, a real nails-in-the-parking-lot girl. I think about her every time I feel bad mojo. And does it all go back to the girl who lived behind us on Claudine. Our fight in the street: I was punching and she was slapping. She called me Indian Giver after she grifted all my toys. They’re full of slurs, these broads, and you feel it the first moment they try and push you over, the haze of smoke floating over their kettles. They suck out the trust. Maybe they’re born with it; maybe it’s in the makeup or that their tantrums are like seizures they can never come out of.
These poems for NaPoWriMo were inspired by a poem I did years ago for my friend Michele after hearing she passed away, 30 poems for inspiring women connected to me. The title now says "33 Women" because the poem to Michele poem had already been written as well as two prologues I posted March 31.