Sing a Good Song
When you sing of me, because you will, sing of everything.
Of how hidden I was to you for most of our lives.
Of how, in the earliest, most innocent pictures of you,
I appear as nothing but a slit in your skin, a dark line
with a mysterious start driving up from — or down to? —
a triangle’s dulled point.
Of how unbothered by your nakedness you are.
Sing of me in poetry. Write lyrics that mimic my flow.
Begin with a quick and sudden burst,
storm surge battering city walls.
Then find an uninterrupted rhythm
of consistent currents, rising and receding tides.
Sing of how, at 16, you longed
for my final emptying
into a delta of women free
of inconvenience and pain, free
of the specter of life wrangling their insides.
Sing of how, today, you curse the gray hairs you fear I haven’t earned,
of how you want me s t r e t c h e d and contracted,
misshapen and reformed,
the parts of me you’ve never seen re-membered
by and for another you.
Sing of my complex beauty. Of how,
the first time you saw me — what were you, 13? —
your only mission was to know where to stuff
that phallic bundle of bleached cotton and rayon. Ha!
Of how you didn’t know to appreciate the folds you had to pull back, the maze of swirls you had to follow to find my darkness, the contrast of brown flesh shaded by black lace curtains opening up to pink crevices parting
of how I gloss my own lips
and how they glisten.
And oh, yes, sing of my pleasure
(because you’ve already covered my goodness).
Of how much I like tongue and ginger strokes.
Of how me and your neck and shoulders whisper
to one another. Of how you had known
since the age of six
that me and you could shake the earth.
Of how you learned to fear what we could do,
by ourselves or with another.
Of the shame you felt for me, of me. Of your prayers
to pause my wetness, to let it ignite only
for the man
preordained for you.
Mmm. No, revise.
Sing about my pleasure with all the other goodness.
When you sing of me, because you will,
sing a good song.