WHAT ARE WOMEN FOR
By Mónica Gomery
In a tumult of no, I try to mother myself.
In an asphalt of embarrassment, I try to soften my tongue.
In a gore of overgiving, I touch everything moonlight.
Why can’t you resuscitate light with your body?
Why doesn’t it feel better to be bigger?
Why can’t you make something from something?
In a discoloration of shame, I teach grieving to givers.
In a nimbus of grieving, I make jokes about death.
In a maunder of blame, I ask again for some peace.
Why can’t you give over more than what’s offered?
Why are you always staining the water?
Try to talk like a river of grass.
Want to lay seeds down everywhere, twice.
In another family, the daughter
would be the keeper of futures.
Why doesn’t it hurt less to remember?
Want to access animal strategies.
Keep secret futures.
In a shatter of planet, I try to ocean the garden.
In a chuffing of oxygen, I slap shoreline louder than breath.
Want to be like the bread.
Sun-bloated, spineless, certain as grain.
With an incurable suitcase, I try to harvest the load.
With a respite of spikes, I try to humble my shovel.
Want back every bone in my slanky dumb spine.
In a carnage of wanting, I stay here.
I stay with the world.
Mónica Gomery is a poet and rabbi living on unceded Lenni Lenape land in Philadelphia, whose writing explores queerness, diaspora, ancestry, theology, and cultivating courageous hearts. Her second collection, Might Kindred, won the 2021 Prairie Schooner/Raz-Shumaker Book Prize in Poetry. She is also the author of Here is the Night and the Night on the Road (Cooper Dillon Books, 2018), and the chapbook Of Darkness and Tumbling (YesYes Books, 2017). She has been a nominee for Pushcart Prizes and Best of the Net, and is the winner of Palette Poetry’s 2022 Sappho Prize for Women Poets. Her poems appear, or are forthcoming, most recently in American Poets, The Iowa Review, Four Way Review, Poet Lore, and Poetry Northwest. www.monicagomerywriting.com.