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Let me tell you what thumps in your chest —

it's a pomegranate.

So, place your thumbs on either side

and press, just so.

Did you know you held such jewels?

Your fear is boiled irrevocably into your light.

Your fear is guns and knives and fingers.

It is grief, and pain, and torment, and and and —

yes, one hurt for every pomegranate seed.

So, pluck each seed and hold it to the sun.

Is the fruit an amethyst or garnet or ruby?

Is the nub made of topaz or amber or gold?

Squeeze and lick the succulence, then

look at your hands, fiery as goddess-tongue.

Watch the crimson seep through your

palms and crawl under your nails. See!

Your fear is not as grisly as you are,

Fierce One.

Touch this heart-blood. Take more juice

to streak your cheeks and mark your body.

Now, you need not beg the Earth to

swallow you as you run. Now, you will

know how to scream as the men approach,

how to rise and resist, how to fight and


"Defy" first published in The World We Live(d) In


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