Tuesday, April 7, 2015

a poem by morgan parker

Apology In Hopes of Men

These days I’m looking good.
Voiced over
with a glossier me.
Wearing giggles
to the knee, keeping
elbows off your lungs
and out of the dirt. Half-trying
to be secret, slip
into a room
unannounced. Glide softly
onto the couch and wait
for you to speak
first. Will you
hear me coming, pink
upper lip
to incense stick? Deep-cut
Aretha behind
the ears where synth
was planted once.
As a woman
I ignore what is
half-assed and full of water.
I understand
our troubles
passed down: I tuck them
into my loafers
and cross my legs. No complaints
here. I take my time.
I get excited
over time.
Hands to myself
as I am told.
No longer wonder what if
somehow a little mystery
could hurt. No longer swear
to god it’s when
I’m dead
I will shut up.

Morgan Parker is the author of Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback Books 2015), selected by Eileen Myles for the 2013 Gatewood Prize, and There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé (Coconut Books 2016). She received her BA in Anthropology and Creative Writing at Columbia University and MFA in Poetry from NYU. Her poetry and essays have been featured in numerous publications as well as anthologized in Why I Am Not a Painter (Argos Books 2011) and The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (Haymarket Books 2015). A Cave Canem fellow and poetry editor for Coconut Magazine and The Offing, she also contributes writing to Weird Sister and co-curates the Poets With Attitude (PWA) reading series with Tommy Pico. She lives in Brooklyn and at www.morgan-parker.com

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