Chicklit by Rhiannon McGavin Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate

Edgar Allen Poe said
The death of a beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the
world except I think
the most poetic thing is the dress that my mom wore in France when she was
pregnant. it’s yellowed with flowers, it stretched to fit her and shrinks to hold me
now. there’s a sonnet in each of my nana’s old lipsticks, and all the coats that my
aunt wears, another device in any piece of clothing deemed lucky, in fact, the
poetry is my neighbor
explaining how her parents survived a genocide that spoke 4 languages, or maybe
the enjambment sobs in the shower, fruit aisle, and best friend’s car sinking
through deep summer
all our injuries rhyme
from singing with a sore throat to a mattress heavier than god
the freckle on my right palm, tracing every capillary popped
on purpose and stomach caesuras, who else
could place scars into genres?
I’ve seen better poems in rising bread than anything Bukowski dreamed of,
Hemingway demanded, and Sartre petitioned for
they can excuse scaring women for art though
if you are a scared woman they tie your art back to your crazy, it leaks
through the gallery, like it’s crazy how
a couple movies are worth more than children, as if they cannot see the
fingerprints on the film strip and I guess it’s a good song but that bass drum
sounds like internal bruising and we don’t dance to those at my house
the violence of creative men is more
of a burning library than a closed book
you choose what you want to read
thus I concur that picking graveyard dirt out of my nails of highest literary value
thus, the most poetical topic is me, slumped
on my desk, sleeping through every English class for the rest of the year after my
teacher said he didn’t know of any female writers good enough to study
no one, in that damned mob of scribbling women, was worth discussion
since we were only supposed to be the
flourish/adverb/stage he walks on/spit on his finger so he can flip a page
and we can’t bite the hand that feeds us, can’t
swat away pens that dip in our pretty corpses
he sweats corn syrup and
red dye and
needs someone to hurt for him
yet I can stand straight without balancing them on my head. I have always washed my troubles in extra mascara so they are defined
in the spotlight, molded them to hold
a rapier for the finale, taught them how to speak
from the gut even
when crying, to project
so all the women who ever pressed
their thumb onto my cheeks can watch me live from the back row
and the ghosts above the theater, they can see us too

Sofia Snow