for renee

if you can remember nothing else
know I am happy in this ugly little house
I have a mustache          chapped lips
eat naked in front of dirty windows
I never worry about who may pass by
to witness the blessing of my flesh all
purple and growing    I am fat with love
freedom has made me bigger               I don’t
long to be adored        truth be told my wife
won’t worship me       my altars abandoned
my children half wild screaming demigods
my sisters refuse to know me    grimace thin-lipped smiles
as I pass by                  but I’m not sorry
you wouldn’t be either
listen                  I play marvin gaye the few days I clean
aretha when I rush my wife to bed
and in those few hours before Apollo rushes his chariot
dragging a belligerent sun to the sky
she holds all of me      vast and ordinary
no spells or runes to bind her            we grow our own religion
I am bored of these stories       that drag out my breathless allure
the way men whip themselves
into foolish frenzy for the pleasure of consuming a goddess
as if it were not a shopworn tired thing            what good is your desire
             I want to be known for nothing but me             a fat black happy
woman who gave no fucks    tell that history

Copyright © 2024 by Saida Agostini. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 18, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.