Listen

 

        For years, 
    oral lore was decanted,
        the sediment disturbed, distributed,
by hasty men. 
 
    Until, women, who were uninvited, 
            came anyway, respirate, 

aerating the narrative. 

    We worked and work and it is work 

    carving out space in the mind of a nation 

for the right to a word. 


It’s true. 

    I’m sick of your male voice–
guttural, stuck like gum, holding a gun. 
Your poems:     cemeteries of the sounds 

that came before you–

    tidy couplets like granite headstones. 

    The performative pondering. 

    The consideration of lake water. 

    Listen, listen, listen,  

    a man came into the wineshop
        to tell me he was going to take
a picture of the sweeping, 

to send to my boyfriend
who would be pleasantly astonished 

because women
don’t sweep anymore. 

            I wanted to write about anything else tonight, 
    maybe deconstruct the inflatables of Koons, 

consider the porcelain banalities, 
    but then the lawyer, 
who I respected, 
    who sang along to Simone with me,  

grabbed my ass when no one was looking, 
    and I remembered Koons married a woman

who only spoke Italian, 
        a language he, in fact, 

did not,
    does not
        speak.
Listen,
    all the women in my world 

are busy confessing the acts of men, 
    
    desperately repeating, 
    
while the men 

write about 

nature. 

____________________________


Georgia Dennison was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts and now resides in Montana where she is an MFA candidate and writing instructor at the University of Montana. She hosts the Second Wind Reading Series and is a poetry editor for Cutbank Literary magazine. Her work has appeared in Pacifica Literary Review.