God-The-Mother in My Bedroom As A Fossil
My Dad Brought From The Mines
Did you believe after hours of gurgling
to streams out of your mother’s earshot,
I would call to you like the burning bush
from the wilderness? If you are expecting
to be a prophet, girl, all that will burn
is you. I’ll tell you the gospel of women
is erasure. You could live forever
and they will claim
you never existed. Even after I contained
your Appalachia, rubbed its mountains raw
with my water, my name
is blasphemy. Eve bit into the apple
and learned the words Mother and exile are interchangeable
with sweet juice running down her lips. You still want
my story? Get to know holiness
of forgotten spaces-- these imprints
of a sea fern left in coal, saved from burning.
Hold its dusty stone against your chest. Know this
is what they will reduce you to. Call extinction
your sister. No man will praise you. He will
wrinkle his nose and say what you create
is lesser, what is essentially wrong
with femininity. Poet,
are you writing this down?
They’ll take away your power.
Men will boast they were made in the likeness of God
and you are merely a woman. Instead of greatness
you’ll beg for peace, death — day in, day out
your wild ears will only echo a muffled gurgle,
your practiced drowning sound, calling for me.
I was great once.
I take it all back.
Listen. I’ll tell
Sosha Pinson is from Eastern Kentucky, and received the MFA in poetry from Drew University. Her recent poems can be found in Digging Through The Fat, Appalachian Heritage, Stirring: A Literary Collection, and Minerva Rising. This is her fourth appearance in Still: The Journal.