At fourteen I wrote them about glass and coffee
and self-identity. Like a bird I screeched my sentience
from telephone wires.
At fifteen I wrote poems about writing poems,
an embarrassing amount, really.
Like any honest teenage writer
I was more enthralled with the idea of art
than art itself.
“I’m a poet,” I announced to a world half-listening,
and roasted those words until they were overdone
and rough as leather. I admit, in those early days
I did not know how to be tender.
At sixteen I turned with a hardened heart
to the way of Plath, depression, darkness
and macabre feminine ballads.
That was no place to stay
so at seventeen, having passed through the
three levels of novice writer hell,
I dug in my nails and crucified myself
And now at the ripe age of nearly-nineteen
I write them about spiders and alcoholics,
violins and violence, ocean waves and
not to mention
feminism and France and sunflowers
and goodness and God