Poetry: Selections from Madeira Miller

Like a Woman
I looked up at him with big, watery eyes
which begged to be held like a woman.
I was like a puppy whimpering at his feet,
and in that moment, I was impossibly small.
I tried to dress like a woman
and talk like a woman: sophisticated, wise.
But when he hugged me goodbye
in the doorway, he held me like a child –
like his kid sister at the school bus stop.
He didn’t have to be so gentle.
I wrote his name on the inseam
of my prettiest underwear with the bow on it.
I powdered my baby-face cheeks –
girlish, garish, fervent, flushed –
flustered, when he grabbed my face
with steady hands. I was starry-eyed
on tippy-toes. I was breathless and still
when he told me that he loved me
and patted me gently on the head.
He loves me, but not like a woman.

Traffic Jam
I stood at a busy intersection
with my eyes closed and my fingers
plugging my ears and I waited
for you amongst the traffic,
and it was much like the time
that I flashed my tits
on the Mega Screen in Times Square
on New Year’s Eve,
and it reminded me of the time
I took a deep breath and hurled myself
off of the Golden Gate Bridge
as if I had white feathered wings
that would carry me to your doorstep,
and it was a lot like when
I bought all of that rope
from Home Depot and meticulously
tied myself to the train tracks
downtown, where I waited
for you to come save me
because that’s all I ever wanted,
just like when I tattooed
your full government name
across my forehead in Comic Sans
and chopped off all my hair
with your favorite kitchen knife
and pulled the fire alarm
in your dorm while you were
having sex with that girl,
and my God, I even bought matches
and set myself on fire right outside
your bedroom window,
but you never noticed.

Madeira Miller is a writer and poet seeking a creative writing degree at Missouri State University. Her work appears in ‘Dreamstones of Summer’ by WinglessDreamer, ‘Praised by December’ by WinglessDreamer, Every Day Fiction Online Magazine, F3LL Digital Magazine, The Gateway Review Literary Magazine, ‘My Cityline by WinglessDreamer,’ The Bookends Review Creative Arts Journal, ‘Sea or Seashore’ by WinglessDreamer, Bridge Eight Press, In Parentheses Literary Magazine, Dipity Literary Magazine, Abstract Literary Magazine, and Academy of the Heart and Mind Literary Magazine. Instagram: @madeiramiller