WWP Poem #27: Fifteen

You, perceptive enough to pick up
all the half-rhymes hanging out in your stomach;

you, with a galvanized ear leading to tubules
that course straight up into your brain;

you, possessing databanks built out of flesh
humming in data process heaven just behind your bone walls;

you, who would prefer to bleed ink at every site in
the nation of punctures that live all over your body;

you, who knew what fifteen years old was supposed to look like
but found its imprint continuously escaping you no matter how much
you pulled open your ribcage and offered it landing space;

you, who found yourself standing pawn ready
while being forced to watch your own white queen checkmate slaughter nightly;

you, who read every issue of Seventeen
like they comprised an encyclopedia set of young womanhood
and trying to shove the information into a new disk partition
above your eyes;

you, who would rather stamp words on your forehead than scream;

and you, the android wearing fake pointed ears
while living with a pack of Romulans. The problem is,

the fake ears give you away. Don’t think that
the peaks of those curved eardrops, those
open skin seashells mounted on either side of your head
aren’t spelling out your inner circuitry with their points
as you walk by.

You must understand that the aliens around you
cannot read the hieroglyphics. They stare at every signature
trailed behind your temples and revealed by the curtain of your hair
and think that it is a curse, an upraised middle finger,
a refusal to wield disruptor guns and wear armor that can never fit you. And

maybe it is: but either way, you must
pull the shame out of your navel piece by piece,
yanking at the little metal chain links that protrude out of the hole
that connect you to your birth; extract the coiled up chain
that has rested below your sternum since you were ten. You know
that its linked serpent head is what strangles you while you sleep,
wrapping itself around your vocal chords,
biting at your tongue backwards until
the words refuse to leave your body. And

one day, I want to see you kneel. Chant
mantras and light holy incense before one of
the busted-up Apple IIe’s in the computer lab
on the second floor of your high school, the
make-shift monastery where you exude prayers in Chicago font
during every single study hall. And keep praying.
The words will be your way out.

Written 11/4 and 11/9/10
© 2010 Nicole Nicholson. All Rights reserved.

——————————————————————————————————
This poem was written for We Write Poems Prompt #27, in which we were directed to write a healing poem. I won’t offer any explanation this time, I will just let the poem stand as it. I hope you enjoyed it.

-Nicole
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About ravenswingpoetry

I am a 38 year old writer from Columbus, OH and the creator of Raven's Wing Poetry. I am a poet, seeker, fellow traveler, and autistic.
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10 Responses to WWP Poem #27: Fifteen

  1. b_y says:

    oh, I do like those prayers in Chicago font!
    spare a wish for the ones who weren’t quite different enough to be noticed.

  2. pamela says:

    Nicole,
    Powerful poem. The imagery is intense.
    Pamela

  3. 1sojournal says:

    Your use of wired computer metaphor to express such deep and powerful emotions, shouldn’t work, but it does in a deep and profound manner. I also believe that the words, if I let myself follow them, will find the way out. They have in the past, and will continue to do so as long as I continue to follow. Thank you for this writing,

    Elizabeth

  4. vivinfrance says:

    Ah, the magical healing quality of words. A masterly poem.

  5. neil reid says:

    Nicole, I trust words with all my heart. Or, more accurately, expression itself. (And I very much agree with Elizabeth.) Good prayers, right prayers (and who do we think we’re really speaking with) are their own reward and answer and way out of the barrel where we often first find ourselves.

    We build complexity out of simplicity. We do it ourselves. And many around us, oft add to that pile. But what we seek was always there (and we need only ask) (at least to begin to see). I see and hear that simplicity in your poem too. It is the desire engaged in writing it. I trust where your words are walking to.

  6. ms pie says:

    ohh nicole that is simply heavenly in heartfelt brimming over exploding whispering tender passionate data byting quick sting trail of wandering words coming home…

  7. Judy Roney says:

    What an amazing poem. It does stand alone; no explanation needed. I love your words and they really hit home.

  8. Pingback: NaPoWriMo Poem #5: Seventeen « Raven's Wing Poetry

  9. stimmyabby says:

    “you must
    pull the shame out of your navel piece by piece,
    yanking at the little metal chain links that protrude out of the hole
    that connect you to your birth; extract the coiled up chain
    that has rested below your sternum since you were ten. You know
    that its linked serpent head is what strangles you while you sleep,
    wrapping itself around your vocal chords,
    biting at your tongue backwards until
    the words refuse to leave your body.”
    Wow.

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