What Can Be Screened May Not Be Revealed

What Can Be Screened May Not Be Revealed
Candace Pearson
“Oh, my, you are alarming in so many areas!”
TSA Agent

I refuse to march-step in Vogue (even ready-to-wear).
My socialist socks mismatch themselves.

I will not abide collection-plate faiths that seed ornate
delusion and better-than-all.

Don’t ask me to declare myself anything
Other or Prefer not to say.

These words have been banned from my vocabulary:
mothering, certitude, consent.

Sometimes I think I could happily become a beetle,
six-legged Gregor Samsa, hello.

The clock by the bed that I never sleep in
always reads 2:30 am when I wake.

I have to pat you down, the TSA screener says.
Yes, yes, I tell her. Please do.

Oh, and thank you for acknowledging my
disquieting hips. Thank you for honoring

my breasts, their insistent buzz. And thank you,
with your final, decisive pat to my head, for

knowing my brain, above all, is, I confess, very
very alarming.

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