Collective Unrest

 

rihanna

July 25, 2018

standing in line for the movies IamLegend of all things
my college boyfriend david captain
punched me in the gut, knocked the wind right out of me
i know these are clichés, colloquialisms, taboos for a poet
but that’s exactly what it was
you don’t even feel pain
not until neurons shoot electricity to the membrane
directing you to feel
in the moment
all i wanted to do was breathe
my first thought: why aren’t my lungs working?
he had hit one
my left long last rib of my cage bruised for weeks
my second thought: wasn’t he leaning in to kiss me?
and my third, when i had finally come to,
how fitting i’m waiting to see a movie
about the end of days, the destruction of man

explorers stumbled upon a cave in northern france
filled with finger paintings of the cavemen who dwelt there
it is believed that the first known human creation
was the painting of a woman
the female body
the ancient artist drew a georgia o’keefe of our thighs
on a slab of wall ten feet tall
as if to proclaim:
God has faltered. the Lord should’ve made Eve first

where was the misstep in our evolution
where was the flaw when cave dwelling men
morphed into chris brown or david captain
ike turner ray rice donald trump my father

in an interview with vanity fair, rihanna said:
“But, for me, and anyone who’s been a victim of domestic abuse, nobody wants to even remember it. Nobody even wants to admit it”

rihanna, my love
remember the caves filled with our images
remember the caves

 

tmstringfellow (Tara Stringfellow) is a poet, novelist, and an attorney, originally from both Memphis, Tennessee and Okinawa, Japan. Third World Press published her first collection of poetry entitled More than Dancing in 2008. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize, her poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Best Emerging Poets of Illinois, Best of the Net Anthology, Jet Fuel Review, Minerva Rising, Women’s Arts Quarterly, Apogee Journal, Transitions Magazine, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, Chicago Magazine, decomp, and Prompt, among others. The author was Northwestern University’s first MFA graduate in both poetry and prose. Signed with HSG Agency in New York, she is currently completing her first novel she’s calling Memphis.

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