Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2017  Vol. 16 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Pandora Opens USA Today, December 3, 2015, and Drafts an Editorial
Door of America, mention my fear to the cigars!
—Frank O’Hara, “Three Rondels”

You have personal motivations, political motivations, religious motivations,
criminal motivations, or just no motivations at all.

—Dr. Jeffrey Simon, political scientist

Door of America, why won’t you stop blowing open
to men in the grip of mad and calculated mad or calculating
anger? You will say these are my gurneys wheeled down
from the clinic, the college, the social services center;
my boxes massed in the funeral parlor. But my guns
like all of me are clay. My lilies grow in the same jar as winter,
as white supremacy, yes, but have you forgotten quantum physics,
compassion, the pithos of reason? You have hooked up motion sensors
to your own hearts. Or are they bombs, the ticking music
of motivation, no motivation, of mothers texting cowering daughters
Why would somebody want to hurt somebody who works
with children? Don’t blame my daughter for casting bones after
the great deluge—to bring back humans. What delusions
must we stand in for: your desire to populate, your theater
curtained in temporary outrage? The pretaped—What restrictions?
caution of headlines. Choirs are still singing about the lamb
washed in blood. It is Black Friday. Snow globes’ ground
zero of glitter. It is Small-Business Saturday, Cyber and
more Cyber-Spending Monday. These are not my Trojan horses
you fear. The Big Boxes are not my doing. I didn’t wind
ribbon around evil and try to trick you. I said wars,
righteousness, confusion. Said insects, rats, rape, cholera. Why bother
to enumerate? It was never my choice. The first to pour
the wine of sorrow is not its vintner. I was a girl
in nude stockings before any Hooters—serving
whatever I was asked for. This is how myth works.
I do not get to be afraid; I have to keep opening
with my small clay hands, my arms. Someone show me
who will bear the power to reshape me, to break me.  

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