I wanted to love my daughter in the way of a sweet
Madonna, my Moonchild nature well-suited caregiver.
She came to us fierce, furious, spitting spice and salt,
refusing my breast, reaching for him through night feedings..
She loves too hard, my mirror child, knows
her soul is her own. Motherhood has made me Monster.
Obstacles will be torched.
Cities will bow down. My daughter’s spirit,
a bonfire I dance around, shaking the heads
of those who would do her harm.
Men wear their factory blue,
an aphrodisiac. They smell of sweat,
work, a grimy smell like oil.
Skin, factory-pale. Hands whittled
from repetition. Callouses rub my thighs.
They have rhythm, fire in their eyes,
space all day to remember last night’s tousle
amidst damp sheets.
Something to look forward to, break up
monotony of workdays. Like cold beer
after a long shift. My lips, her lips, some kiss—
like weekend shots of whiskey.
Like the dancer at the bar slides
her body against uniform-pant zippers.
Brimming with lust, pent up, flashing a wad
of twenties, running a hand down
skin tight parameters of crimson-clad hips.
Some women throw themselves at factory men.
Men with steady incomes, pension, men who deftly use
their hands. Workingmen fit to burst
with need for something sensual,
a red dress filled to the brim.
Christina Xiong is the author of Ghost Monogamies (Ghost City Press) and The Gathering Song (Finishing Line Press). Her work has appeared in Cotton Xenomorph, Brave Voices Magazine and others. Voted most likely to become a cult leader. One fiction professor predicted she would write “airport novels.” Tweets: @AzureXiong