Daughter, Nicole Blackman


One day I’ll give birth to a tiny baby girl
and when she’s born she’ll scream and I’ll make sure
she never stops.

I will kiss her before I lay her down
and will tell her a story so she knows
how it is and how it must be for her to survive.

I’ll tell her about the power of water
the seduction of paper
the promise of gasoline
and the hope of blood.

I’ll teach her to shave her eyebrows and
mark her skin.
I’ll teach her that her body is her greatest work of art.

I’ll tell her to light things on fire
and keep them burning.
I’ll teach her that the fire will not consume her,
that she must take it and use it.

I’ll tell her to be tri-sexual to try anything,
to sleep with, fight with, pray with anyone,
just as long as she feels something.

I’ll help her to do her best work when it rains.
I’ll tell her to reinvent herself every 28 days.

I’ll teach her to develop all of her selves,
the courageous ones,
the smart ones,
the dreaming ones,
the fast ones.
I’ll teach her that she has an army inside her
that can save her life.

I’ll tell her to say Fuck like other people say the word The
and when people are shocked
to ask them why they so fear a small quartet
of letters.

I’ll make sure she always carries a pen
so she can take down the evidence.
If she has no paper, I’ll teach her to
write everything down on her tongue,
write it on her thighs.

I’ll help her to see that she will not find God
or salvation in a dark-brick building
built by dead men.

I’ll explain to her it’s better to regret the things
she has done than the things she hasn’t.

I’ll teach her to write her manifestos
on cocktail napkins.

I’ll say she should make men lick her enterprise.
I’ll teach her to talk hard.
I’ll tell her that her skin is the
most beautiful dress she will ever wear.

I’ll tell her that people must earn the right
to use her nickname,
that forced intimacy is an ugly thing.

I’ll make her understand that she is worth more
with her clothes on.

I’ll tell her that when the words finally flow too fast
and she has no use for a pen
that she must quit her job
run out of the house in her bathrobe,
heaving the door open.
I’ll teach her to follow the words.

I’ll tell her to stand up
and head for the door
after she makes love.
When he asks her
to stay she’ll say
she’s got to
go.

I’ll tell her that when she firsts bleeds
when she is a woman,
to go up to the roof at midnight,
reach her hands up to the sky and, scream.

I’ll teach her to be whole, to be holy,
to be so much that she doesn’t even
need me anymore.

I’ll tell her to go quickly and never come back
I will make her stronger than me.

I’ll say to her never forget what they did to you
and never let them know you remember

never forget what they did to you
and never let them know you remember

never forget what they did to you
and never let them know you remember.