Mother, I’m sorry,
but the instant I was born a girl
I had one foot in the grave
and I couldn’t let my sisters suffer alone.

Mother, I know I’m in the dark,
and I know you are afraid,
but I am learning what it is to be powerful.

I know they like to call me stolen—
bright, young, beautiful and still in bloom,
or they call me wanton—
ensnaring him in my web and ruling over hell
like the shrews they believe us all to be,
but the truth is always less decorated.

Mother, no one here mistakes me
for another pretty face
and I have the devil to do my bidding.
When I come to the light,
when I flower again,
it is with the knowledge of something more awaiting,
and of those who love me for my sharpness, my jagged edges,
and all the space that I let myself inhabit.