Cherry pit stains

by Katie McCarthy

Cherry pit stains
As the plump wicked red
Lands softly on my tongue
You are so sweet
Plucked stem shucked aside
Pit bangs against teeth

It’s the beginning

Cherry pit stains 
From the punch that landed on my jaw
A bruise above the elbow, back of the arm
Ghost blows

My feminist anger came late
I moved backwards
Believing in peoplism first as your boot 
Held my skull against the metal grated floor

I see color because it hues the world with complexity

Running on stair machines emaciating into a healthy body
Shouting at talking heads
	Supreme Courts that uphold the firing of a woman because her boss lusts for her
	Supreme Courts that over turn rape convictions because there was no physical
proof that the survivor defended themself so there was consent
	Victim blaming
	Steubenville rapist glorifying and mourning
	Valentine’s Day commercials for teddybears for your girlfriend because she’ll say
chocolate will make her fat
	Morning After Pill accessibility questioned and daggered

I am scared and I am tired

My feet pound the machine
I feel disgust

I am angry
I am engaged

I am a feminist trying to hold on to her peoplist ideals
Trying to ally

Cherry pit stains
Lips licked
A sting of tartness on the tongue
Breath into jowls turn fiery
My cheeks punch air

My words and actions commit violence
My liver wrings trying to filter out the internalized hate thought
Lightening impulses to stereotype
My whiteness, my middle classness
Slay those before the rest of me enter the room

At times I am the circle – belittling and whining towards the triangle whom has made a
fitted pathway

What do I deserve?

My heart grows more attached to this barren land of oaks
West of the color line
Tragedies upon tragedies
An historical accumulation of wrongs and unfulfilled promises 
BART destroyed neighborhoods
Displaced thousands from their homes
And each day I ride it
A sorrow cloaked in a blessing
I repeat the demolition of Babylon
The hiss of the train snaking through political lies

What am I doing here?
I speak large, but act small
How much am I driven by a race privilege drive to fix
To fix, to fix, 
To own.
I speak large, but act small.

I dream of being a wood nymph
Bow and arrows strapped to my back
Hands stained and scratched from picking berries and tilling soil

I am tired and I am scared

I am a feminist 
who sometimes allows the hand of a man to grab thigh and ass and waist
to hold hands

Just as long as they don’t tell me to fucking smile

Katie McCarthy: When they’re not writing, they’re whispering sweet nothings to lettuce.

Back to Poetry.

Back to Issue 6.