This Pen Mine

My pen is a hammer.

I hold the nails in my mouth.

I spent years building my own coffin.

I took the measurements

and planned what my

obituary would read.

My pen in a hammer

I want to smash in the faces of men.

Father let me down. Told me

I was to blame.

and I being hard-headed


spread myself like a disease

to say

look, Daddy, you were right all along.

My pen is a hammer

cracked open every artery.

I told myself

at night when the sheets were hot

and my veins squirmed under my skin

you are undone.

I believed the myths that I as a woman

am bound for breakdown.

That I am

no good until every inch of me

has been owned by a man.

Loved, tenderized, filleted

broiled in my own self-hatred.

My pen is a hammer

an instrument of creation, mass instruction.

The hardest moment the arc

of the movement between elbow and wrist.

The length of the years it takes

to crack myself open.

Yet not destroying.

Yet not cannibalizing.

Seeking to chew myself.

Reduce myself.

To instead reveal that I am

an instrument of hope.


To crack the stained plaster

and reveal

my divinity.

My pen is a hammer.

It took me this long to claim ownership.

My muscles are long and taught

my spirit aching.



I am Athena cracked

open from the skull of Zeus.

I have been so long at war-

but a warrior

never lays down her weapon.


She spends her days sweating

practicing the way her feet will land

when at last the stillness comes.

My pen is a feather.

The tickle at the base of your spine.

When my voice falls

to a whisper

when my words settle

like sparrows

under your skin.


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