How to Be a Daughter
Do not express any unpleasant emotion.
but don’t tell anyone
about the pain.
Don’t know anything about cars
or broken ceiling fans.
Live in the heat like it’s nothing.
Prefer your imaginary friends to real people.
Don’t take any risks.
Don’t drink milk.
Don’t eat meat.
Don’t see yourself in the mirror.
When Gender Got Really Queer
I woke up one morning,
and there was a strange purple light
pulsating in the center of my chest,
and I didn’t know what to do.
It didn’t hurt.
I didn’t think this was the kind of ailment
one goes to the ER for.
I wasn’t even sure if it was an ailment.
My fear said, This could be something wrong with you.
My heart said, This is very beautiful.
April Penn is a Boston-area poet who has published poems in The Offing, Maps for Teeth, Provocateur, Hoax Zine, Amethyst Arsenic and Oddball Magazine. She has featured at the Cantab Poetry Lounge, Out of the Blue Gallery, Occupy Boston and UMASS Amherst. Her work explores the dissolution of self, relationships, and reality in a world fraught with environmental sickness. She is influenced by writers like Kathy Acker and Eileen Myles as well as spoken word poets.