LAUREN JENKINS – “CAT CALLING” @WANPOETRY (IWPS CYPHER 2019)

LAUREN JENKINS – “CAT CALLING” @WANPOETRY (IWPS CYPHER 2019)


– To the dude cat calling
the woman that I love on our way to a poetry slam, fuck you. Listen, I know that the woman that I love was brushed with gold that King
Midas doesn’t have shit on. I know that she flies through the world as if the cars passing
by are picking her up, and then carrying her walk with the wind. I know that her hair falls
so perfectly down her neck and against her back that
gravity stopped trying to keep that shit down. But I also know that
her mind is a revolver and she’s been playing Russian roulette with your unwanted compliments
ever since she learned that your words aren’t always
going to be the trigger pull that comes out empty. She has learned that your
words can bruise her skin if she does not
acknowledge your existence. She has learned that if
she’s not carrying a smile in her back pocket for your ego, then your smile could
flatline, then she could too. Your face has burned
its shape into her eyes and now, she’s wondering
if the poet on stage pouring her trauma into a microphone in front of an audience full
of stranger sees your face, while her eyes are slammed shut. Inside the echoes of this auditorium, she hears your voice screaming, “You need to smile more, sweetie. “You dropped your smile, darling. “You’re too pretty to be gay, honey. “Damn that ass is nice, baby. “I wouldn’t hurt you sweetheart. “This won’t hurt, baby.” Usually the woman that I
love is a walking billboard for fuck off. She can throw her words better than Ali could ever throw punches. She can dodge the words
you offer like flowers, but then land like daggers. But she can also Einstein
her way around an equation and she knows the statistics
don’t lean in her favor. So, she’ll smile, so, she’ll say hi, but hold my hand just a little bit tighter and hope to not hear a gunshot. (audience applauds and claps)

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