Of the Dead White Men

Because some of them crawled on broken

hands and knees to save me

with their poems.

 

Because I was only

wretchedness at the edge of an abyss

of fashion magazines, and that

 

trickle of water down the side of their mountain

into my empty cup, which I refused to drink, they

were offering that to me.  Because

 

I washed my face in their blood.  Because

I tossed my hours in their coffins.

Because I was otherwise just dust rising off

a lampshade.  My

tatters in rags without them:

 

A girl blinded by her own hair

riding her bike somewhere—

stupid, dying

for want of what

was written there.

 

A glittering starvation, forgiven.  Willing

to burn their hands for me

to deliver it, burning

while I denied that it was burning.

 

I was like a child outside a cave of snow

that had collapsed on her fathers.

I laughed, wildly, for a little while.

 

And then I screamed.

 

And then I pouted.

 

Then I grew older, and had to begin

to dig my own pitiful little

hole with a teaspoon to get to them.