How to Fight Back
I’m gonna scratch up his car, pour
sugar in his gas tank and watch
the whole thing blow.
A girl inside a car of women, almost
women, speed down Mission Blvd to downtown Hayward.
Jalapeno poppers on their laps,
dinner. Miles away, their cousin cools her bruises
with weed choke, leaning on cold brick.
Motherfucker, the driver says, swerving past Whitman,
is gonna get it. Pipe and all.
The girl says nothing, sticks her hand out
of the window to cool a pepper.
Springtime red and dying on her face,
lilac fingers on her arms. She considers
spring a season for lovers, his smile, of course. She is convincing
with her hands. She hopes they are convinced. Motherfucker,
the girl repeats, burning her fingertips and lips on hot grease.
With more force and heat, she thinks, this must be love.
After Botticelli: Imelda Marcos Posing as Venus
Boracay’s precisely white
shore will have to do,
but I will be better
swept-up dark-sugared hair,
tits that peek through the cracks
of spread palms
Nipples disguised with rose
petals, of course.
There’s still something
to be said about modesty.
My chariot: a nautilus shell
plated with Yamashita’s gold
the spiral outward
toward God’s locked kiss.
My daughters will toss
handfuls of sampaguita
when the camera’s
red light signals.
I bite down
on my tongue for the flood
of salt. This is when
the flash of light
preserves my beauty.
This is when
I step out pure
from the ocean.