clementine von radics

8

You are now 18, standing on the precipice,
trembling before your own greatness.
who say you are too young and delicate 
to make anything happen for yourself. 
They don’t see the part of you that smolders.
Don’t let their doubting drown out the sound 
of your own heartbeat.
Your bravery builds beyond you. You are needed
by all the little girls still living in secret, 
writing oceans made of monsters and
throwing like lightening.
You are stronger than the world has ever believed you to be.
The world laid out before you to set on fire.
All you have to do
is burn.
This is your call to leap.
There will always being those 
You are the first drop of a hurricane.
You don’t need to grow up to find greatness.

―  Clementine Von Radics

When you are 13 years old,
the heat will be turned up too high
and the stars will not be in your favor.
You will hide behind a bookcase
with your family and everything left behind.
You will pour an ocean into a diary.
When they find you, you will be nothing
but a spark above a burning bush,
still, tell them
Despite everything, I really believe people are good at heart.

When you are 14,
a voice will call you to greatness.
When the doubters call you crazy, do not listen.
They don’t know the sound
of their own God’s whisper. Use your armor,
use your sword, use your two good hands.
Do not let their doubting
drown out the sound of your own heartbeat.
You are the Maid of Untamed Patriotism.
Born to lead armies into victory and unite a nation
like a broken heart.

When you are 15, you will be punished
for learning too proudly. A man
will climb onto your school bus and insist
your sisters name you enemy.
When you do not hide,
he will point his gun at your temple
and fire three times. Three years later,
in an ocean of words, with no apologies,
you will stand before the leaders of the world
and tell them your country is burning.

When you are 16 years old,
you will invent science fiction.
The story of a man named Frankenstein
and his creation. Soon after you will learn
that little girls with big ideas are more terrifying
than monsters, but don’t worry.
You will be remembered long after
they have put down their torches.

When you are 17 years old,
you will strike out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig
one right after the other.
Men will be afraid of the lightening
in your fingertips. A few days later
you will be fired from the major leagues
because “Girls are too delicate to play baseball”

You will turn 18 with a baby on your back
leading Lewis and Clark
across North America.

You will turn 18
and become queen of the Nile.

You will turn 18
and bring justice to journalism.

You are now 18, standing on the precipice,
trembling before your own greatness.

This is your call to leap.

There will always being those
who say you are too young and delicate
to make anything happen for yourself.
They don’t see the part of you that smolders.
Don’t let their doubting drown out the sound
of your own heartbeat.

You are the first drop of a hurricane.
Your bravery builds beyond you. You are needed
by all the little girls still living in secret,
writing oceans made of monsters and
throwing like lightening.

You don’t need to grow up to find greatness.
You are stronger than the world has ever believed you to be.
The world laid out before you to set on fire.
All you have to do
is burn.

I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at
with a mouthful of forevers. We
have both known loss like the sharp edges
of a knife. We have both lived with lips
more scar tissue than skin. Our love came
unannounced in the middle of the night.
Our love came when we’d given up
on asking love to come. I think
that has to be part
of its miracle.
This is how we heal.
I will kiss you like forgiveness. You
will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms
will bandage and we will press promises
between us like flowers in a book.
I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat
on your skin. I will write novels to the scar
of your nose. I will write a dictionary
of all the words I have used trying
to describe the way it feels to have finally,
finally found you.

And I will not be afraid
of your scars.

I know sometimes
it’s still hard to let me see you
in all your cracked perfection,
but please know:
whether it’s the days you burn
more brilliant than the sun
or the nights you collapse into my lap
your body broken into a thousand questions,
you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.

Here is what I know:
You drink your coffee black and we are afraid of each other.
Once you kissed my neck in front of your friends
and it made me very shy.
Once you kissed my stomach and I started crying.
I see the tender way you touch things and want to kiss your nose
but I keep my mouth to myself.
Your collarbones are craters big enough to fit my fist into.
You are the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in months.
I was not good to the last person I loved so I punished my heart
(I let it break and bleed out then roughly sewed it back together)
It is hard to write poems when I only know how to fuck you.
I am always trying. I am thinking of Somedays. I am saying goodbye.
You asked why I never write anything honest so I am writing you this.
—  Clementine von Radics

Salome dances her dance of the seven veils,
The men all eye her like wolves on the hunt, this beautiful girl
finally undressing for them. Finally they can see her
exactly as they want to.
The first veil drops.

In 2007, Kim Kardashian’s ex-boyfriend
released their sex tape against her will.
Kim Kardashian, rather than hide in shame
Used the publicity to promote her own career.

Salome moves like a dream half-remembered.
Salome dances like a siren song. All the men ache
to see the hot sugar of her hip bones.
The second veil drops.

In 2014, Kim Kardashian walks down the aisle
As the whole world watches. If only all of us
were so successful in our revenge.
If only all of us stood in our Louboutin heels
on the backs of the men who betray us,
surveying the world we created for ourselves.

The third veil drops.

Kim Kardashian knows exactly what you think of her.
She presses the cloth tighter against her skin
Her smile is a promise she never intends to keep

We can almost see all of her.
Salome shows us her body
but never her eyes.
The fourth veil is dropping.

The four things most recently tweeted at Kim Kardashian were
@KimKardashian Suck My Dick
@Kim Kardashian Can I Meet Kanye?
@KimKardashian Please Fuck Me
@KimKardashian I Love You. I Love You.

Women are told to keep their legs shut.
Women are told to keep their mouths shut.
Some women are kept silent for so long,
They become experts in the silent theft of power.
The fifth veil has dropped.

Kim Kardashian made $12 million dollars this year
Yesterday, uncountable men in their miserable jobs,
told their miserable friends that Kim was a “dumb whore”
Kim Kardashian will never learn their names.

The sixth veil has dropped.
The seventh veil has dropped.

And Salome sat beside King Herod. And he swore unto her
“Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give to thee
unto the half of my kingdom”
And she smiled, and said
“Bring me the head of John The Baptist.
Punish the man who hurt me”

You silly little girl,
you think
you’ve survived so long
survival shouldn’t hurt anymore.
You keep trying to turn
your body bulletproof.
You keep trying to turn your heart
bomb shelter.

Stop, darling.

You are soft and alive.
You bruise and heal. Cherish it.
It is what you were born to do.

It will not be beautiful,
but the truth never is.

Come now,
you promised yourself.
You promised
you’d live through this.

—  Clementine von Radics, “There is the Worst and Then There is More,” Mouthful of Forevers