Shut up

Words don’t come, just image: that
skin. A long piece of silk. When
I touched him, the voice
shut up. His
jasmine sheath
quieted it.

Confucius pronounces
that I should never
have done it. I am not
what is needed: a wife, a womb.

Confucius has no name for what I am.

Wanting only to play,
abandoned by scripture,
at creation’s end,

I cry hard.
Curled in a fetal fist
around black-mud sobs
and howls, an animal
in pain, a baby

I let out the noises I shut up
when I was tiny.

‘Do not cry. You
must speak nicely. Gentle
persons do not wail and keen.’

The family of Confucius,
ranked in their millions,
insist that there are hundreds
of men. ‘Why not accept
one in cotton: ample
and kind?’

I want a lover
whose Tao skin
empties my mind.

(First published in Poetry D’Amour (WA Poets Inc 2013))