WHO ATE FIRE
I’ve seen the best men of my generation made starving
and small, made dust
by the thumb of oppression. I’ve seen the best women
of my generation
tend lonely to the men who claim to love, plant bombs
in their own throats for slow
exploding. What is the way of structural suffocation?
What is the howl
of one body taking out on another body his rage
When you came calling me a corrupted sexual object,
I ate daisies. I ate sadness
hot as sun in a jar when you came into my life
like late lightning
from another sky. I silenced myself with myself. Sisters silence
themselves and swallow
their silence, protect the men who look like their brothers
because they look like
their brothers. Cradling that fire gets you nowhere.
Following that flash
across the southern desert gets you further from the sea.
About the Author: Brynn Saito is the author of The Palace of Contemplating Departure, winner of the Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award from Red Hen Press and finalist for the 2013 Northern California Book Award. Her second collection, Power Made Us Swoon, will be published in April, 2016. Born in Fresno, CA, Brynn now lives and teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Artwork: Ona Estapé Cortès