At twenty-four
I’m just a woman
There is nothing groundbreaking in what I’ve done
No spears to the hearts of no nine suns
Shot down from the blazing sky to keep this earth from burning like a
Neglected bun in an oven or
Greenhouse gases in 2011
I didn’t save us
I’m just a woman
Carrying no arrows, no weapons
No fighting my way into any kind of heaven
Or out of this kind of hell
But I’m not here for the hell of it
Though I can’t stand the smell of it
Like something’s burning in the oven
Or we are under too many heavens lit by too many suns
There’s no fun to be had living in this legend
In this children’s story
In this folk myth from China about a man named Yi
He’s the hero we need
Not me
He conquered the deities
Battled the monsters with nine heads and chisel-teeth
Saved his race from evil after evil then
took on the ten suns
Brought them down one by one
Until there was only one
my mother’s maiden name
what it became
something in English something American something
not her
not quite her disposition
Just two letters added like a burden for what was
At twenty four
Mine is the same
Two syllables
Three letters
Twenty four years
Nothing gained.

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