glinting in the endless, scrolling river of my feed
a shard of hatred cut me when all I meant to do was read
I saw angry men raise heil salutes in a conference room somewhere
and wondered who could soften them with bleeding or with care
but blood is what they hanker for our howl pleases their ears
so in bloodless flint of document I hiphop all my fears
Shame is a wire cage around my muzzle. My hairy lip is curled in a snarl
of hatred but it is a hairy lip and so you win. I was too little for razors.
But not for the news, the good news, of the deal: shave off the mature animal
and be domestically kept, well-husbanded. In my head, I was plucked
before I learned to speak. In real life no conscious husband plucked me,
I was left fruiting on the vine of story, heads full of teeth
never fully climbing from my womb. The swirls above the fontanelles
firming into unformed births in my walls. The hairs on my lip still
hoping they are harder to see through the metal gridmesh over my mouth.
Sonnet L’Abbé is a poet, songwriter and public speaker, and winner of the Bronwen Wallace Award and the bp Nichol Chapbook Award. Their first two poetry collections are A Strange Relief and Killarnoe, and in their most recent book, Sonnet’s Shakespeare, they overwrite all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Quill and Quire called Sonnet’s Shakespeare “one of the most audacious volumes of poetry to appear in this country” and named it a Book of the Year. L’Abbé was the editor of Best Canadian Poetry 2014 and was the 2015 Edna Staebler Writer in Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University. Dr. L’Abbé currently teaches creative writing and English at Vancouver Island University. Twitter/Insta/FB @sonnetlabbe