Space Makes So Little Provision for Disaster
The girl locked in the attic is not
those kidnapped unfortunate Nigerian schoolgirls,
or eternal witness, eternal teenager Anne,
or that girl who went missing but was found
close to home, clad in cult garb,
held as wife of her captor, and
there are so many attics
and so many girls held as wives of their captors
who dont live in attics,
but rather, in bedrooms, in basements, in camps
in Iraq, in makeshift tents
that leave them exposed
to the elements
but not to the eyes of their neighbors,
and some of the captors are
horribly, their fathers, and some of the girls
give birth to their siblings
while previous sibling-daughters look on and learn
the sound their fate makes
when its born into this world.
The girl locked in the attic is not the first
Mrs. Rochester, or Charlotte Perkins Gilmans
Jane, or Zelda
incinerated in the institution,
only one poppy-bright shoe
remaining to ID her. This attic
girl is not feral and neglected,
made and then made to abandon
her humanity, to disembark from the species,
to become a bell,
an urgent clanging in empty space.
The girl in the attic wasnt carved up
with razor blades, or broken with a bat
and left there to die, and the girl
in the attic is not Flowers in the Attic,
wholesome, motherly, romantic, raped.
What is it about our attics that imagine family
bonds into handcuffs, the inescapable
lined in padded satin?
Who gives the attic
permission to corrupt us
all the way down to our unplumbed basements?
The attic is too close
to flying off the house entirely.
The attic, its not like you and me.
The girl who is locked in the attic is not
down to earth
compliment for a girl in the Midwest)
Its harder to care about someone
who asks for it. And the girl in the attic
is definitely complicit.
Shes the support beam. She only needs
to fall down