come closer so you can hear how my mouth tastes like a bed of roses, thorns. girls, pay attention. perfume, varnish, hairspray; all flammable, each inch of female expression a violence outward: sharpened, red, knife underfoot, hot iron to hair so it billows like god or bloodshed. our foremothers had hands at their backs, tightening them. daughters will never know mace as a flavor. darkness around the eyes, the smoke from some fire we didn’t start. signals. shadow in my cheekbones so you know my mouth is hollow and can swallow whole. holes in the ears. only a diamond can cut a diamond.