Land Mine

I like a little violence
in my poetry
because I don’t trust
the sweetness
of too-ripe words, like
I don’t trust a man
who says, “you’re wonderful”
too quickly.
What would he say
if I told him the sugar
on his tongue
is only what I allow him
to taste?

I used to preen
when a lover called me
easygoing, as if
being no trouble at all
was some kind of glory,
as if un-troubling
his waters would keep
the current from pulling
me under, kicking
the wind out,
from filling my lungs
with salt water
and sorrow.

This is how a woman
protects herself,
with yes and sure
and I don’t care,
how she paves every pothole
so others wont need
to remember how much
earth is still root, crack
and resistance,
so others wont feel
the quaking and know
that earth never intended
to be tamed.

But I can’t take all
the blame. You see,
they never looked up.
Not once.
Never saw the sentry
in the tree
three clicks up the road
or the sniper on the rooftop
trained to kill
any me that didn’t heel
quick enough. Now,
when a man calls
me easygoing
I land mine,

explode his body
into pieces I salvage
for my tricked-out ride,
cruise down main street.
Hydraulics at my fingertips.
My fingers itch
when I hear the engine growl,
“I would have loved you
anyway. I would have
loved you more.”