Note: I did write this poem in the shower, a day or so after having a Daddy Issues Movie-Marathon that included Hook.
I light candles before I step
Into the too-hot water
I write poetry in the steam
On the window of my shower
I use three fingers to guide
The razor across my skin
And I think about Robin Williams
While I shave.
My shampoo says
I can only imagine
That the million tiny suds
Are a million tiny Romans
Building military camps in my head
To drive out the doubt
To drive out the self-hatred
To drive out the demons that have come home to roost
Then I remember that
The Romans were the first conquerors of my people
(My people who then went on to conquer
My other people
I am the byproduct of millennia
They are the demons coming home to roost
They are what does not belong
And so instead
There are tiny Picts in my head
The wee free men
And Boudicca, with her fierce wild hair
The color of blood
She will sack your fucking town if you think you can invade this land.
These tiny Celts
These tiny ancestors that I keep
In my head and close to my heart
They don’t run when it rains in the shower;
Their feet dig into the mud in my brain and they holdfast
They don’t bug out
When I lean too close to the candles
And catch my hair aflame
As has happened a time or two to this clumsy bitch
They don’t quail at the site of blood
When I bang my head against some protuberance
So common in a world built for short people.
Because the fire and the blood and the rain
They are the primal forces
Whence we came
They are the very foundation of this universe
And my people saw them.
And my people spoke their names.
And today I light my candles first thing
Today I light my candles and I pray
I pray to the ones who withstood the invasions
Who waited for Their people to come back to Them.
I have withstood my own invasions.
I have weathered the storms
Of the colonization of my person.
I do not fear the fire
Do not fear the blood
Do not fear the flood.
I no longer fear the dark
Because I know exactly what it contains:
And any motherfucker
Thinking to invade this land again
Better know one thing:
He better know how to die.