The Post-Angst Years

If I cannot be a martyr,
Let me have my stake in the earth,
a place to stand and burn a little,
an inescapable, heroic death that
doesn’t make suffering seem cool,
but also validates mine just a little. 

If I cannot be a martyr, 

Give me strong arms and definition.
an entry next to desire in the OED,
an attitude that shines, halo-like,
on my perfect, glossy hair.
Please add good hair to the list of demands. 

If I cannot be a martyr, 

Teach me how to speak in tongues.
A nuanced battle of non-words
that has neither winner or loser
only my mouth and a language of creation.
Make it sensual and unapologetic. 

If I cannot be a martyr, 

Show me the world –
a home to fireflies and the thing
that inspires the glory of sacrifice.
Show it to me in color and good-smelling bakeries.
Show it to me in oil paintings and songs and too much wine.
Show it to me with your teeth and your hands and all the parts of you that are too big for your body. 

If I cannot be a martyr, let me be a blaze of sorts. The kind that is more spectacle than destruction –  

If I cannot be a martyr, give me a moderately priced, aluminum-frame road bike and warm pan y tomate cada mañana – no matter what window is performing good morning rites. 

If I cannot be a martyr, I’m gonna wear tiny skirts and crop tops. I’m gonna stay up too late and buy expensive moisturizer. I’ll live between the pages of a good book, loose-leaf tea and fresh ginger basil whiskeys furnished by my very own garden. 

If I cannot be a martyr 

If I cannot be a martyr 

If I cannot be a martyr, I am going to live. 



Author: Ana Gabrielle Perez
Email: gabrielle.perez09@gmail.com
Author Bio: Ana is an ESL teacher in Spain, nutrition professional and writer. Poetry is her first love, but she is passionate about health, ethical travel, politics, activism and feminism.
Link to  social media:   Instagram @anagramshard


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