These Squatting Girls in Black Spandex

Amanda Smeltz

These squatting girls in black spandex are trying to turn their gaze inward.
When I crack the Bhagavad Gita, I can’t find Downward Dog.

No Downward Dog or Half-Lift, no Crow, no Humble Warrior.
Next pew over, an old woman files her nails. My mother fumes.

Easter at the megachurch. My favorite silk banner is hung.
It’s shimmery pink with a purple silhouette of a dying man.

I strap on my leather bra and boots – headed off to Burning Man.
For forty days I writhe and flash and drape myself on scaffolding.

A pastor at his dinner table expounded on gender and sacraments.
Women can no more consecrate than can this block of cheese.

Thereafter I did no more consecrating. A vine grew out of my forehead.
Suckers and buds shot up out of my terrible hands and feet.

A plastic sack bulges with Japanese beetles, each hooked onto the other,
Shimmering jade and blue—but they don’t know they’re gonna die.

In my house we keep the old gods: shit-talk, candor, clarity.
Now fetch me that branch-tangled ram and think about what you’ve done.