Mother said when the Egyptians built their temples,
they did not make them microscopic. Handmade by clay
to turn to stone, they were built immense to be seen by all. She said
that I never was one to grow daisies that cloaked her outsides.
I grew thorns, when touched, they would bleed crimson. Wear it as lipstick and
kiss my own bruises to mark my land. Bullets deep rooted into the ground, some wounds
are tough to remove. Left tattooed onto skin to tell tales of a warrior, she said this
was her war once. I did not need a bow nor an arrow, I was a wildfire
that spread through enemies’ land, the light in a fog of gunpowder. She said not to let them nail
my tongue to a wooden cross
for it was not vanity that spoke, it was the hum that my self-loving
ancestors left as they danced in their enemies’ graves.