without desire / a bridal dress holding a kiss / this is my history / a still of sunlight and dust / the one who did not believe / the pleasure I control / this is a warning / tell me I can’t turn away / from my dress / a chorus of lungs burst / ridiculous white / I am a forest of wings descending the heavy smell of a veil.
I hear men like dolls / heads covered in cloth / the idea of a smile destroyed by a single red tulip / what hum / I indulge into ripeness sudden and foolish / make it raise electrons then fade / I say I am too much / sheets like snow dead / a skull dull silence / imagine the body is reduced to ether / dragged in shadow.
this is in my head / I should stop / I did the impossible and dreamed I was a girl / this is my body / I do not lie still / the pigeons gave up death rather than wish their legs / sprayed tulips sudden like a twitch / almost nothing envies yesterday / but the chicken.
once I had a name / I wore it ordinary / as if it had been permanent / the worth of it was all that made me / shake power so easily / I moved my head to joy and into me I go to find I am not empty / I trust my name and know better of what I have to say to my body for whom I want to escape / I want to recognize the shape of stars around me despite the earth / how it used to be magic when I thought I’d never feel.
given the women one, two, hush / I fidget under desire / there is no moon to steal my eyes / I am my own light / I give the flowers my name that pleases me to remember / I meant I was light / before my clothes and my body / reach into my head that’s fruitful and honey / offering a last salvation.
Reflecting clearly into the Earth and into the planets
*From the author, Monica Rico: “This poem is a collaboration with my sister, Nicole Rico. I wrote an erasure/redacted poem from The Handmaid’s Tale and she created the photo to go with it.