She has a mouth on her,
that woman down the street
with the magpie eyes
and the skin that shrinks away from touch.
She's a firework,
that woman with the ramrod spine:
she says she doesn't need a man
and two joined hands at the altar
are two hands wrapped in chains.
They murmur about her,
those women up the road -
in the grocery, at the bank -
painting whispered targets on her turned back.
They are caged birds, she says:
silent slaves in their own homes
tucking helpless husbands into bed
and wiping liquor-stained kisses
from their lips.
She lives outside of their boxes,
that woman with warnings splashed over her skin.