I’m not like girls in pretty shoes.
Sky high yellows, oranges, pinks
written down quick ’cause somebody smiled
and wanted so bad to remember.
Always feels right, lifting youth and verve,
’cause light makes right and pretty is light
calling from the altar in your pocket every time
you want to be heard.
Somebodies believe they’ve taken my lagging pulse,
“poor, poor girl,” but unh uh. They measured mine
against theirs boomping fast as high heels crossed the floor
under ‘easy’ dresses with metal supports.
(Pause while they fall to their knees now, hands pressed together.
Blessed Structure. Good bones. Silicone. Pray.)
God speaks to them in a vocal fried “creaky voice”
dotted with question marks. Always.
I don’t talk like those girls, and won’t be taught.
I’m messy but aware when riled or coaxed by the real dark.
I shimmy around corners, warm like nectar, razor showing.
Yes. I said warm. I do cool when I want, but one can always ask.
Sweethearts in sherbet shoes
only scare me when they get attention and I don’t.
Then I loose and ease into stride, barefoot and faster. Wiser.
I say, “Go ahead, don’t look. You’ll miss me.”
I say what I want in my corner because real beauties will,
prickling nerves or smearing an edge just found
with the real properties of light.
I do because I can and I will. And I won’t.
This poem isn’t about “vocal fry” or “creaky voice” but if you haven’t heard of these two ways to refer to a certain kind of vocal pattern, click here and a New York Times article can tell you all about it.