The women next door teach their daughters
to cut the men open, gut them like fish and observe
“See this,” they say, “See how they have bruises on the bone.
They, too, have known hurt.”
But after the men have been stitched up they beat the women
like orange pulp, or they howl at them likes wolves; they, too, are knowing hurt.
The women next door tend to their wounds, and teach their daughters
to grow teeth on their longing.
When they fall in love, they will be ready.
The women next door offer me katana swords when I leave in the morning,
“What if you encounter a man who swallows you whole, you will have to cut from within the belly of the beast,” they say.
The women next door pick up their orange pulp blood trails after the hurricane,
tie them together like a rope stretching to the moon.
“Trying to break down a woman is like trying to drown a fish,” they say.
They open the doors and welcome the hurt and learn that the sadness is a temporary teacher.
They smile when it rains and tell me no woman knows only sunshine.
“We mean to live,” they say.
Mitzi Ceballos is a nineteen year old English major and poet. Her writing has appeared in Blind Literary Journal, Half Baked Journal, and Aliteration Magazine. When she isn’t writing, she can be found crying over Achilles and Patroclus, watching Batman the Animated Series, or sleeping. You can find her work at thedovecriesinsanity.tumblr.