A rebel mouth.
This week’s poem is by Franny Choi. I chose it because I love Franny’s way of shining a light on the darker parts of our humanness in a way that’s both graceful and unapologetic. There’s also something grotesque about her words that make it impossible to avoid imagining our bodies and their fluids in all the ways they cannot be contained. Bodies are messy and Franny’s work captures the way they will be heard however we try to keep them quiet.
How are you not keeping quiet about the things that matter to you?
Other-lips whispering between my legs.
What they called black hole not-thing
is really packed full of secrets. A rebel mouth
testifying from the underside. Careful
not to let it speak too loudly. Only hum
demure in polite company — never laugh
or spit on the sidewalk or complain
lest we both be dragged under the wheels of
one of those. Or worse coddled
smiled at as at a lapdog acting wolf.
Or worse called ugly a cruel joke. Or —
there are always worse things.
Too many messengers shot. But then
who wouldn’t fear an eyeless face
whose ghost stories always come true?