lost

I’ve lost my notebook.
I’ve lost a poem.

It was a great one.
It was eleven pages long.

It was about my father saying he couldn’t hear me.
It was about the X I cut into the back of my hand.

It was about seeing yet another friend on heroin.
It was about that little boy kicking a bird to death.

It was about the four leaf clover someone sent me.
It was about the time I could not stop sleeping.

It was about mail anonymous hate letters.
It was about finding bruises all over my legs.

It was about the bartender who wouldn’t let me pay.
It was about trying to find the cool spot on the pillow.

It was about the lipstick I stole from a girl’s medicine cabinet.
It was about seeing my favorite poet shake when she gave a reading.

It was about the tape I ripped out of someone’s answering machine.
It was about the friend who banged on my door and I did not let her in.

It was about watching MTV after school and wondering
          if I’d look like that when I grew up.
It was about my mother lying on the kitchen floor
          and the dog licking her face.

It was about what happened when I forgot how much milk
          my boyfriend liked in his coffee.
It was about the time I read someone’s diary
          and ripped out the pages about me.

It was about going to the bus station and not knowing where I was going.
It was about coming in late for a movie and kissing through the credits.

It was about the car I could not drive.
It was about my party when no one came.

It was about the last time you touched me.
It was about the way you walked away.

It was the best thing I’d ever written.
It was everything I wanted to say.

I’ve lost my notebook.
I’ve lost a poem.

– Nicole Blackman

Daughter

One day i’ll give birth to a tiny baby girl
And when she’s born she’ll scream
And i’ll make sure she never stops.
A will kiss her before i lay her down
And will tell her a story so she knows how it is and how it must be
For her to survive.
I’ll tell her about the power of water, the seduction of paper
The promise of gasoline, and the hope of blood.
I’ll teach her to shave her eyebrows and mark her skin.
I’ll teach her that her body is her greatest work of art.
I’ll tell her to light things on fire and keep them burning.
I’ll teach her that the fire will not consume her,
That she must take it and use it.
I’ll tell her to be tri-sexual,
To try anything, to sleep with, fight with, pray with anyone,
Just as long as she feels something.
I’ll help her to do her best work when it rains.
I’ll tell her to reinvent herself every 28 days.
I’ll teach her to develop all her selves
The courageous ones, the smart ones, the dreaming ones, the fast ones
I’ll teach her that she has an army inside her that can save her life.
I’ll tell her to say FUCK like people say THE
And when people are shocked
To ask them why they so fear a small quartet of letters.
I’ll make sure she carries a pen so she can take down the evidence.
If she has no paper, i’ll teach her to write everything down on her tongue,
To write it on her thighs.
I’ll help her see that she will not find God
Or salvation in a dark brick building built by dead men.
I’ll explain to her it’s better to regret the things she has done than the things she hasn’t.
I’ll teach her to write her manifestos on cocktail napkins.
I’ll say she should make men lick her enterprise.
I’ll teach her to talk hard.
I’ll tell her that her skin is the most beautiful dress she will ever wear.
I’ll tell her that people must earn the right to use her nickname,
That forced intimacy is an ugly thing.
I’ll make her understand that she is worth more with her clothes on.
I’ll tell her that when the words finally flow too fast
And she has no use for a pen
That she must quit her job, run out of the house in her bathrobe, leaving the door open.
I’ll teach her to follow the words.
I’ll tell her to stand up and head for the door after she makes love.
When he asks her to stay she’ll say she’s got to go.
I’ll tell her that when she first bleeds when she is a woman,
To go up to the roof at midnight, reach her hands up to the sky and scream.
I’ll teach her to be whole, to be holy,
To be so much that she doesn’t even need me anymore.
I’ll tell her to go quickly and never come back.
I will make her stronger than me. 
I’ll say to her never forget what they did to you
And never let them know you remember.
I’ll say to her never forget what they did to you
And never let them know you remember.
I’ll say to her never forget what they did to you
And never let them know you remember.

– Nicole Blackman