I don't like saying, "the poet Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz," because you might think she's delicate and porcelain and chipped. Or maybe you think of a woman with a beanie. I don't know if she'd mind me saying, "that slut Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz;" maybe she'd mind, maybe she'd be upset. It should be noted that I know nothing about her sex life. I hope she has a lot of it with the partners of her choice. I also wish this for you, who are reading this and thinking about beanie-wearing loose women.
So, this chick, she writes. And here is some of her best known work; I suggest you read it out loud, preferably (definitely) when your mother-in-law is over. Don't say, "Hey, here's some kick-ass poetry," just reply to anything she says with stanzas or entire poems. My pussy is tired of being wet.
When I was fourteen, my hair fell out and returned downy and gray. I had just graduated from a training bra and was a brand-new feminist, reading old copies of Ms. in the college library while waiting for my father to finish polishing floors. This was what I told myself as I lifted my chin and told my classmates that I was turning into an eagle, or maybe a hawk, as a result of an experimental gene splicing project. Some sort of raptor, anyway. I grew my nails long and filed them into points and called them talons. I practiced looking stern from high places. Eventually, I just took to wearing black all the time, and then I was that crazy Goth girl who thought she was a bird.
I finally admitted to the first boy who kissed me that my hair hadn't fallen out as a result of an experimental gene splicing project, but because I'd tried to bleach it. I'd put Clorox right on my head. I'd spent hours in the e.r., and my hair fell out and my scalp was damaged and now, my hair might never grow back right. And also, that I worried that something was weird about my nipples. He kissed me for a while and pressed his fingers into my breasts, then told me I was a lot more interesting when I was a parrot or whatever.
Years later, I had short pink nails and the knowledge that my nipples were only inverted, which is perfectly fine. I had a variety of synthetic wigs: purple bob with bangs, fuschia with a Dorothy Hamill wedge. And one day, when I walked into a store to get a smoothie, some kids from my old high school recognized me and started making squawking noises and flapping their arms. I wish there was a moral to this story, or something of value to take away, but all I can say is this: if there was actually some sort of experimental gene splicing, I'd sign up. I'd tell them to turn me into a half-human, because being all-the-way human is just too fucking hard.