just in case i die in the next shooting

here are my best ideas / set down / more touch / more

consensual touch / communal living / assertiveness

 

training / save the men too not just women &children

 

because patriarchy putting the power of my love-losing

wishes beneath men’s wishes / is wrong / complete

 

integration mission / talk about death in accurate

 

descriptive non-hyperbolic terms / don’t force women to

have babies / to not have babies / women shouldn’t die in

 

childbirth / hospitals should not overbook to maximize

 

profit at the expense of lives / more women die in

childbirth / more black women die in childbirth / this

 

is not god’s will / more women die in childbirth / this is

 

wrong / more women die in childbirth in this country than

they did thirty years ago shame / shame / shame / shame

 

&shame on this sick man who shot me down / shame

 

shame / i wish i stayed home the day i will be shot / shame

on this society that broke and divided this man / his

 

emotional life ripped in pieces in exchange for the honor

 

of one day being called man &the promise of all that he is

owed / which is a lie / this broken man that will shoot me

 

down / our system is structured to turn our back / i would

 

rather sit with this broken man / &hug this broken man

listen to this broken man / &care tenderly for this broken

 

man / than have him shoot &kill me / or you / if that’s what

 

it bloody well takes / i will roll my gingham stiff sleeves

up &do more thankless intellectual &emotional &invisible

 

women’s work except visible because / set down here.

***

Zoe Canner is an angry, anti-racist, 3rd Generation Holocaust Survivor. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in SUSAN / The JournalChicago Review of Books’ ArcturusStorm Cellar, OcculumIndolent Books’ What Rough Beast, and elsewhere. She lives in Los Angeles where she indulges in hilly walks at dusk when the night-blooming jasmine is at its peak fragrance.

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