Allen Forrest © 2017 All Rights Reserved
I Want to Be
I want to be a burn, scorch a throat
lift the tongue in praise,
flame preaching in the mouth.
Worship me as I ascend. Can you love wildfire?
I am always an ocean, jellyfish jaw-clamped,
fish knotted-in-schools at the throat.
Whales curl into my folds and horse fish hide
in my tousled strands. Some days, I fillet
my feet to let the salt out.
I will never be pine. The soil disgusts me,
mocks my bone. I punish dandelions with a blow
for every falling leaf. For this, the wood cackles,
carves my name into its bark.
I want to brand somewhere youíll never forget.
Body, I promise you
I can change.
* * *
passes her shame
like a sure-footed man
a sure-footed man
yellow can pass
I am griefís bone
My motherís shame
is a bruise
on an infantís arm
is a cracked
coconut, its milk
unable to wet
a thirsty mouth
Her backís been broken
my backís been broken
til a woman blows dust
off a teacup
set on a chipped saucer
before a daughter.
New Jersey native Ysabel Y. Gonzalez received her BA from Rutgers University and MFA from Drew University. Ysabel has attended VONA, Tin House, and BOAAT workshops. Sheís a CantoMundo fellow, and is published in Vinyl, Wide Shore, Waxwing Literary Journal, and others. You can read more about her work at www.ysabelgonzalez.com.
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