You should never ever use the word vagina in a poem.
Better to write about the great wall of China
or Nina from Carolina.
Better to describe the diner
in the desert of Nevada
with its blue walls and soggy pancakes,
where your lover confessed that he carried a gun
and then ate your cantaloupe.
Better to write about the juicy papaya
you ate in Mexico because it’s good
for the gut, and also, instead of your vagina
you could write about marijuana,
which makes the papaya taste better.
You could write about a messiah
whom you don’t believe in
but he sounds better than the hell you live.
You could write about Godiva
but then they’ll think of you naked
and it will imply your vagina
and she was probably a bit of a pariah
and you really just want to fit in.
You do like horses, though.
You believe it’s finer
to write music in the minor
key and even Messiahs
are nailed to crosses.
Your vagina is split in two
like North and South Carolina
and you’re always traveling south in your body,
so some people call you a slut
but you strut with your beautiful vagina
and when you sleep, you’re as naked
as a cracked chestnut, roasted soft meat
in the middle like the babies
who spilled out of you.
Kika Dorsey is a poet and fiction writer in Boulder, Colorado, and lives with her two children, husband, and pets. Her books include Beside Herself (Flutter Press, 2010) and three full-length collections, Rust, Coming Up for Air (Word Tech Editions, 2016, 2018), and Occupied: Vienna is a Broken Man and Daughter of Hunger (Pinyon Publishing, 2020). She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize four times. Currently, she is an instructor of English at Front Range Community College and tutors. When not writing or teaching, she swims miles in pools and runs and hikes in the open space of Colorado’s mountains and plains.