“Perceived Invitation”

See me waiting on you

the hand

the foot

table leg and chair for you

to put

your heavy burden

of your father’s legacy

its misogyny

on me.

I feel the footprint

of all those before you

in the small

of my back

And taste

those lost to the cause

in the dirt

in my mouth

their fight

in the grit

between my teeth

their sacrifice

ashed into the dust

I breathe in.

I do not need to stand

– to make one

I do not need to say no

– to mean it

I should not need to school you

– in lessons you should already know