for j

fingernails crack
scatter the sky catch
as hangnails clinging
to the black fingers of night
shining stubborn
this glowingness
the glitter on your face
ambition never tears
words hold you up
set the bridge of your nose
such rock femininity
men stand incredulous.
under the thumbnail
of your allure
they use you
less than you use them
feed needs beyond
what you believe you need
they give swelled heat hot
and ready tongues
eager to please
and you pare yourself off
like fingernail crescent
gifts to them
dark hands cupped catch
moon and stars
early 1997