A man once told me He felt as if he had created me From scratch, a muse Conceived by invention, Rather than the precision of my blood or the tiny cosmos within my marrow; He was mine, But did not belong to me
The path of sirendom Is paved with gilded lilies, Soft flesh, and quiet angles If you let them, You can drift on through Your feet hovering three inches above the soil Saturated ripe with fertility, Easier than breathing
But there will always be At least nine of you In every patch of every field Preserved in light The quicksand of reason, immortalized Delicate whispers convince you What a lovely work of artistry An inspiration, the birth of genius But you are only the vessel Left empty
But I have never Belonged to anyone, No square of grass Lush enough to rest my head on a practiced lap I was not an island to discover; Sprung from beneath the Mariana, I was built from the deep place No pedestal to extend The unhinge of my reaching arms
I took the long way up Scratching through earth, long dead No fruit, carefully arranged No marble, heavily lidded The flowers collapsed, Like your idea of Woman, To linseed stain A smashed sunrise It wasn’t god, but myself That I met on the other side
Katey Hawley is a Los Angeles-based writer who occasionally uses the pen name George Glass. She dabbles in poetry, short stories, and personal essays, and runs a blog focused on sustainability and minimalism at zero-wasted.com.