"To the Comedian who Called Thelma and Louise Two White Heifers"
See the Wolf is officially released today! Those who pre-ordered their copies in the last couple weeks should be receiving them soon. If you are one, thank you for supporting the work, the poet, and CavanKerry Press!
CavanKerry had me prepare four poems with a little commentary for their own series of blog posts. One is up right now, but I've been posting my own selections on my own blog as well. Today, the poem "To the Comedian who Called Thelma and Louise Two White Heifers" without commentary because Wix is glitching. I will say that I believe the comedian who referred to Thelma and Louise as 'two white heifers' was Chris Rock, likely a very young Chris Rock (I could be mistaken) and for some reason his comment stuck in my head. I think because my pre-teen, early teen, self imagined Thelma and Louise were the prettiest, toughest chicks I'd seen on film Plus, did you know Geena Davis is now an olympic level archer.And if you don't know who Geena Davis or Thelma and Louise are, off to google with you!
To the Comedian who Called Thelma and Louise Two White Heifers
My mother dreamed of wrenching jaws open with her small hands.
I could see it gave her some pleasure. A pleasure
all women share imagining their strength in the face of danger.
My moments as prey were too recent,
I didn’t wear the dog’s hide beneath my clothes
for power. Though he had been put to sleep,
no one offered it to me. I wore an ugly scar
from seventeen stitches, a tender pink
entry wound newly sealed, a mark
that said good eating. I startled every time I heard
a keychain jingle: dog loose. I’d climb my mother like a tree.
If the dog materialized, worse, if it advanced, growling,
my mother would stand in front of me, arms splayed,
as if she were guarding someone
in a basketball game. But she wasn’t fucking around.
My mother had practiced the maneuvers in her sleep,
the way she’d grasp the upper jaw with her right hand,
the lower with her left, and leverage her weight
at the hinges to crack the skull wide like a bivalve shell.
Don’t laugh. Women have driven off cliffs,
burned men in their beds, to escape.
Her body over my body, my mother and the dog would face off.
I could feel the answering growl start deep inside her,
erupting in a voice not my mother’s,
a voice to make us larger than we were. Stronger
than a scream, she’d said. A man laughed at us once.
But it wasn’t him the dog obeyed.