WRITE YOUR NAME by Stephanie Athena Valente

carefully, so you don't smear the blood

isn't that what all of the movies taught us?

so you can learn the meaning of power

so it feels. so it burns.

so nature speaks through your veins.

so pretty.

so ripe.

so 21st century. so you'll be a wolf.

so you might eat a wolf.

so you'll become an oath.

so traditional.

so you'll break. kill all of the women.

so you'll birth. an initiation rite.

so you'll wear your hair like ropes.

so you'll love death. it won't hurt.

isn't that what poetry taught us?

so you'll bathe in the fire ashes.

and rise.