Left to the night, we are pagan. Our eyes
moons, which pull us like spring blossoms
from the earth, settle us like petals in the
grass. We are many-armed, frightening
beasts with legs spread wide in supplication.
We no longer hide in caves and tents as we
bleed and mourn ourselves. We create our
sex from dirt, from emptiness, from bruises.
Our eyes roll back in our heads as we please
ourselves, as we break and re-mold our flesh
into blades of sunlight. This is how we will
give birth to the new world. We are accustomed
to needle pricks and dismemberment.
Your threats die, shriveled, in your mouths.
You may stay as long as you like; you cannot
smoke us out.
Tessa Bryant is a writer, educator, and performing artist. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Eastern Washington University and lives in Nashville, TN.