Poem Hunter
I Am Not Pretty And I Do Not Understand Why
IH (April 30,1989 / Virginia)

I Am Not Pretty And I Do Not Understand Why

Poem By Indigo Hawkins

i have this new love, named Haemon.
he calls me Darling and holds me
closely as if i am his dear Life herself.
we met at a masquerade. while he
danced with the beautiful princess,
i sat outside, poised on a parapet
contemplating how far i might fall,
curious about the meaning of it all.
when he saw me there, at the end
of the night, he promptly proposed
and I accepted, composed,
as unsurprised as always.
“I didn’t need to see your face, ”
he said. “I fell in love
with your eyes.” my sad eyes
that he says are wise and sweet and strong.
last night i buried one of the brothers i barely knew.
i do not believe in ritual or superstition but
with this sacred gesture, i accepted death-
demanded it as my destiny after i was arrested.
there was yelling and weeping and pleading all around.
“Uncle, you must kill me. I know you must.”
i practically begged him. 'let me have my purpose, please! '
“this is not-IS NOT! -your purpose. antigone…damn it, listen to me! ”
but i would not, caught up in the exhilaration of my certainty.
i was so convicted-
standing on my own, no longer conflicted
about the woman I must become.
I am already Her, this final girl
who knots her robe around her neck,
resigned and afraid. Now
all I can think is-
poor Haemon:
I am sorry about our son.

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