Keith Haring, ‘Untitled’ 1982

Sometimes I wish
I could go back to my
hometown
Snug as a bug in a rug
up to my neck
in pleasantries, and lay-it-on-thicks,
and keep-it-in-the-families,
pats on backs
If you don’t have anything to say
be nice

But it would cost me the funk,
the hills I hike,
and the junkies
who keep me honest
Reminding me that life is a tenuous,
puerile thing
tender as a shoot

Bone in mouth
I hold on
to the possibility offered by the city
Outstretched hands
to all
Outstretched fists
to all

It’s all right there
lain out on the sidewalk to be seen
The glitter and the grit
The wholeness fills my belly.

--

--

Sometimes the internalized misogyny

Bubbles up from my subconscious

Out of me

Like a noxious gas

Cracking the surface of my skin

Rocketing into my head like a loud belch.

My conscious self barks back,

Tamping down the ill odor

Of a patriarchal paradigm

We’ve all smelled its stench before

I scrub it from my body, but it always lurks

Underneath my fingernails

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Jessie Zechnowitz Lim

Jessie Zechnowitz Lim

Jessie Zechnowitz Lim holds an MA in Art History and is an alumnus of SFSU and UC Berkeley. She writes poetry, creative nonfiction, and artsy musings.