Volume 3 Number 1
Fall 2009

 

Anthem

Nicole Borg

I refuse to hate
the narrow round of my hips,
the smallness of my breasts
(smaller now, after child).
I refuse to despise
the not-white of my teeth,
the not-quite-even,
the gentle slope of my belly,
the pale purple bands,
faded now, warrior scars.

Some days I am beautiful,
brilliant like the full-face moon on a blackest sky.
Some days I am sick-thin
eyes cold and hungry, mouth open and sharp.
Other days I am just tired,
head-above-water tired.

I have finished with the yes-woman
small, mean, passionless.
I am through listening and listening, always listening.
I have my voice, my words—
they line up like eager soldiers,
they march their straight lines,
they speak forcefully and do not apologize.