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My mother lay on her side to birth me.
This was millennia ago
when the earth was still fresh
with the energy of being.

I was her first.
If any came before me
they were lies and unwanted.

We are poor, I was hungry.
You can't imagine the places I've begged:
beaches, city streets, conference tables.
I will eat garbage,
but not from anyone's hand.

We were poor, I was cold.
Mama made me a coat, but no trousers.
People laughed at me.
I was always angry.

They joked about my sex,
said nasty things about my genitalia.
I became vengeful.

Once I heard the moon whisper behind my back.
I scooped hot coals
and threw them in her fat face.
Sure it burned my hands--
but she is marked with permanent surprise.

Another time the night began a rumor
that I'd hump anything that moved.
What did she know? When she opened her mouth to laugh
I pulled her tongue real hard.
She vomited a trail of stars no one can clean up.

I know more than I can say!
No poetry exists that wasn't first on my lips.
I was a live seed planted by a woman
in another woman's womb.
All things insatiable belong to me.

~Janice Gould