13 Jan How I Started by Faith Brooks
When I was born
I changed my mother’s hair
(What happens to a body is a daughter’s fault).
I drank salt water mixed by a propellor
On the back of a boat,
Ate grapefruit my grandfather bought accidentally,
Took a 500 a month stipend
And some bullet points,
Pushed on the doors I knew would get me out of there.
I sent you four rough drafts on a Wednesday morning
(Wednesday being the only day things happen to me),
Cut out my larynx and replaced it with yours,
Braided my veins
Into twisted irons
Licked up the rust and
(On my stomach)
to the water.
Isn’t it pretty?
Shells, muscles, bones
the ones taken out of
buried in the sand
of the before –
I hold the name in an open hand,
I wear it like a curse,
Like a conversation starter about God,
I wear it like a religion I don’t practice,
I wear it like a gift my parents gave me,
Without ever being able to give it up.
You wonder how I started?
I followed the red ribbon
It’s stained beneath my fingertips.