the first man who ever taught me to hate patriarchy—
and yes, it was a man—
i may need one like a fish needs a bicycle
but cycling is my favorite form of transportation.
became disgusted with systems of coercion—
of stodgy language designed for laying
bare the blood-thirst of a soul’s
blatant fantasies of punishment and pain.
became enraged by systems elevating and excusing
that old demonic indulgence for
a god named me determining
for the worm called you
a fitting discipline for when
you cross my will.
power wraps herself in guises
so her pursuit feels self-giving
instead of ravaging,
holy instead of violent.
he was not a man disposed to freedom
but he was a man afraid of fraud—
a cautious Adam, refusing to name a single beast,
for fear he named him wrong.
“you have all the power,”
i said, one day.
“why does that matter?” he replied
he couldn’t christen what he didn’t see.
so we never named the beast.
who coiled in the tree,
although one day I caught a