Queen Mab

the hidden room at the end of the hall is left for hushed phone calls and secret gift wrapping and grandma's visits and sitting still, silently, when your throat is all screamed out. it rarely needs cleaning, but the bedsheets are routinely ruffled by your burrowing ways. the light is best in mid-morning when even January's grey turns sharp white, teasing of sun beyond the folds of clouds and tempting us outdoors. our favorite loaf is special at the market today, and having searched the purple, paint splattered workroom you haunt, I've come to whisper of whipped butter and jam and a yellow typewriter I spotted in the alley behind the tailor shop. lowering myself onto the downy cover, I run my bare feet along the wood. a rustling beside me says you'll tell me now of the grand hurt or ache or furrowing which has brought you to this creaky corner. your eyes are wet and jaw set, and you will tell me with a coarse voice that they don't understand. no one can, and no one ever will, and I'll agree, and you will breathe slow, and I will remind you this is womanhood.

this cacophonous duality - a tango between tenderness and mania, calm and destruction. I will hold your face in my hands firmly and talk through to your guts, arming your insides with the wily truth of it: no, child, no, of course they will never understand how soft and brave you are, how otherworldly and painfully real, how desperate and wild, how craving of togetherness and how riotously independent. they will see your curves and assume weakness, and hear anger in righteousness, as was done to me. to be a woman is to be guessed at, but never asked, for an eternity. I'll tell you they mistook my pinned curls for respectability, and my burning want of love as naïveté. most saw my days as simple routine and smelled resignation though I was drenched in a radicalism which poured out my fingertips. our work, this work of womanhood, is to keep spinning and breathing and gliding forward as you are. and then come home to this room and bury your tired body in the softness of intention so you spin deeper magic in the morning. and you'll sigh as you do, and we'll fluff the pillows, and turn our faces into the light.