Wherever I may go, for in my mind
I am always leaving to go somewhere, remember
it isn’t you I leave behind,
Heiderose, rose of the Heide, the heath,
the name my father chose
against my mother’s wishes.
But what’s in a name? Don’t you see
how exhausted I’ve become by the world’s insistence on labels:
bi-polar, half-breed, addict, refugee, wife, mother, child.
I am all of these and more.
I am the forest Orpheus planted when he returned whetted
and alone from the underworld. I am the Thracian woman
who hacked off his head and hung it singing in a tree.
I am the robin who built a nest out of grass and hair
in its branches. Don’t you see
I never wanted to be born, my birth certificate
a yellowed piece of paper fraying along the folds
and stamped with a swastika, a black spider
spinning a web in my head. I’ve seen it
crawl across the bed, but am afraid to kill it,
to squash it with oppression’s heel.
Don’t you see?