Because I liked to feel forced because force
is power and I was young enough to believe
I could swallow your acceptance. Because
I lifted thighs to the mountain. I towered
over myself, made her little, slept with men
posing as kings. We could have created
many things. I am a light inside a bush
no one can smother; Moses bowed down.
Because I had to be fed, I ate like a whale
every inch of any thing you held over me.
Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her manuscript was a finalist for the Levis Prize in poetry and her chapbook was recently released by Thrush Press. She is an associate poetry editor for The Boiler Journal. Her work has appeared in the following: 3:AM Magazine, Night Train, Versal, Sugar House Review, Four Way Review, among others.