I come from a musical place
Where they shoot me for my song
And my brother has been tortured
By my brother in my land.
I come from a beautiful place
Where they hate my shade of skin
They don't like the way I pray
And they ban free poetry.
They sent me a salwar kameez
&nb sp; peacock-blue,
& nbsp; and another
glistening like an orange split open,
embossed slippers, gold and black
&nbs p; points curling.
Candy-striped glass bangles
&n bsp; snapped, drew blood.
Like at school, fashions changed
&n bsp; in Pakistan -
I ain't afeard uv snakes, or toads, or bugs, or worms, or mice,
An' things 'at girls are skeered uv I think are awful nice!
I'm pretty brave, I guess; an' yet I hate to go to bed,
For, when I'm tucked up warm an' snug an' when my prayers are said,
Mother tells me "Happy dreams!" and takes away the light,
An' leaves me lyin' all alone an' seein' things at night!
Sometimes they're in the corner, sometimes they're by the door,
Sometimes they're all a-standin' in the middle uv the floor;
Sometimes they are a-sittin' down, sometimes they're walkin' round
A pen--to register; a key--
That winds through secret wards
Are well assigned to Memory
By allegoric Bards.
As aptly, also, might be given
A Pencil to her hand;
That, softening objects, sometimes even
Outstrips the heart's demand;
If I had to look inside myself
Who do you think Id see?
The one I see is me.
I'm not a person grand
No longer a wild child,
Yet I'm stuck with who I am
For yet a little while.
I am alone, in spite of love,
In spite of all I take and give—
In spite of all your tenderness,
Sometimes I am not glad to live.
I am alone, as though I stood
On the highest peak of the tired gray world,
About me only swirling snow,
Above me, endless space unfurled;
I hid the love within my heart,
And lit the laughter in my eyes,
That when we meet he may not know
My love that never dies.
But sometimes when he dreams at night
Of fragrant forests green and dim,
It may be that my love crept out
And brought the dream to him.
My soul lives in my body's house,
And you have both the house and her—
But sometimes she is less your own
Than a wild, gay adventurer;
A restless and an eager wraith,
How can I tell what she will do—
Oh, I am sure of my body's faith,
But what if my soul broke faith with you?
Submitted by Venus
Send out the singers -- let the room be still;
They have not eased my pain nor brought me sleep.
Close out the sun, for I would have it dark
That I may feel how black the grave will be.
The sun is setting, for the light is red,
And you are outlined in a golden fire,
Like Ursula upon an altar-screen.
Come, leave the light and sit beside my bed,
For I have had enough of saints and prayers.
Strange broken thoughts are beating in my brain,
The Princess sings:
I am the princess up in the tower
And I dream the whole day thro'
Of a knight who shall come with a silver spear
And a waving plume of blue.
I am the princess up in the tower,