now are real screeches
I hear, at midnight, from my bed facing an alley.
No one wants to help me change a tire.
The black, low cut dress does not work, nor even fit
yet, I dance
with feet alight,
no one watches.
In torn, stained tees, I walk without fear
of anyone following, or calling, or grabbing
I can curse aloud,
no one hears, when I say:
I am here,
I have proof,
lines, scars, the stretchy skin
I still live in.
A Howl in the Wind: A Response to the Overturning of Roe v. Wade
How terribly strange to be impregnated
by an uncle, a father, a neighbor,
a teacher, a doctor.
Remaining silent at 17,
carrying the attack,
untold for fear.
You are at fault.
You are to blame.
You are wrong.
You are less than your father,
your neighbor, your teacher, your doctor.
How terribly strange to know
you have no voice, but to remain silent
silent at 18, at 33, at 41.
Together, you feel less
than all the power men amass.
How terribly strange to have a dark secret,
but somewhere in the telling
these voices can resound and carry
a howl in the wind to resist, yet again.
You live, she lives, we live to choose,
Me two, Me three, Me many,
we cannot, will not, be silenced to the grave.
What My Sisters Should Know Before I Die
I never envied you
but stood in ovation,
swallowed your essence
as if an elixir.
I felt a comfort
walking beside you
on red dirt trails,
naming tropical flowers
exotic names, luring
us to our own selves.
I reveled in your secrets,
kept them under my tongue
like a lingering slice of guava.
I never judged
even when you held back on the truth,
which saves us when shared.
For, it is in the sharing
from our clasped hands
that our true wings sprout.
Laurie Kuntz’s books are: That Infinite Roar, Gyroscope Press, Talking Me Off The Roof, Kelsay Books, The Moon Over My Mother’s House, Finishing Line Press, Simple Gestures, Texas Review Press, Women at the Onsen, Blue Light Press, and Somewhere in the Telling, Mellen Press. Simple Gestures won Texas Review’s Chapbook Contest, and Women at the Onsen won Blue Light Press’s Chapbook Contest. Her work has been published in Gyroscope Review, Roanoke Review, Third Wednesday, One Art, Sheila Na Gig, and other journals. She currently resides in Florida, where everyday is a political poem waiting to be written. Visit her at https://lauriekuntz.myportfolio.com/. Laurie recommends the Human Rights Campaign.