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Cabbage

On Sunday, I clocked a window.

I whirled around and slammed it with the back of my fist.
My right fist.

The one I’m writing with.

The impact sounded like sex that I kind of remember.

Shock twisted up my arm but I didn’t flinch because my husband watched
and he needed to know: I meant what I meant.

I impressed myself. Didn’t break the glass,

but finger by finger, something delicious Medusa’d through my hair,
massaged my scalp.

That sound, though.

I had to get out.

I turned toward the back door, wild and hungering,
and on the way down the hall,

past the overflowing bookcases gotta clean these things

past the table marble, inherited

rammed the same fist into a wall also didn’t break

that has a thermostat that will talk
and tell you the room

is too hot
or too cold
or too blue

or too green

or or or.

Call me a liar but this felt

like I’d sunk my teeth into the softest peach
still warm from the roadside stand,

or into the thickest bottom lip.

And then I found a rhythm, tearing through the house,
pushing mail from the bar stools magazines from the counter
and feeling fine about it,

wondering if my hand or my pinky finger was broken

call the teledoc?

but this
felt
necessary

like bourbon

or death
or books
or pink

plus, the teledoc costs $45

and I’d rather buy shoes.

On the way to the back door,

I picked up a cabbage from the kitchen counter,
hurled it outside and through the trees,
watched the purple lump roll down the slope,

willed it to slide into the neighbors’ yard and settle beside their play set.
Imagined the looks on faces of the little ones.

They’d think it a magical cabbage.

We will not have coleslaw for dinner.

I imagined myself Wonder Woman, hair flying outward,
a burst of electric light, smoke, a gold lasso

that chokes lies;

Or Storm, elemental energy directed to space
that should shatter and crash,

spilling diamonds on the hardwoods,
but didn’t so much as crack.

You might thank me.

I’m least trusted when quiet, and still;
then you know I am lighting a match.

I never see myself as Claire
and this week, I am Kamala

smiling, wearing pearls while slicing and ducking and chopping

insisting

and shaking my head at an insect

that sniffs out shit better than 47% of the electorate.

I never see myself using the word “electorate.”

The cabbage hadn’t hurt anyone.

My husband, the feelings I don’t admit.
The wall, and window: innocent.

Well.

Sometimes one needs
to salute the absurd

and pull a Bruce Lee on a window.

I have been

letting others pass
insisting that they drive

through my spirit, and throw their trash
out the window.

I am tired of seeing lips move, yet saying nothing that I can comprehend.

My lips included.

That damn lasso.

If you asked what was the matter,
we’d be here until the second coming,

which might be 1000 years after my bones have dissolved,
or might have been yesterday.

It. I’m tired of “it.”
All of “it.”

A new “it” arises each day.
I can’t keep up with the its.
They’re like stars, galaxies

I’m not inviting you to take my power.
Nor is my power being given as a gift.

Pick any “it.”

There’s the truth.

In my mind, I am swimming
bathed in salt

perfumed by last night’s bourbon
unlined and ungraying

wearing Chuck Taylors and that bikini that had lost the elastic
and slipped off with each barrel wave.

Didn’t matter.

It was only breasts and if people hadn’t seen breasts, well,
they could consider this their science class.

Pass-fail.

I still wear the Chucks.

Still wear last night’s bourbon.

What’s left is a bruised hand.
And no cabbage.

Previously published in We Were Not Alone: A Community Building Art Works Anthology.

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