Six Poems by Linda M. Crate

beware the horn

“hey, queer girl!”
you shouted at me
as if i were a unicorn,
but i don’t know
why the mockery;
girl, do you not see this horn?
it will gore you if you’re
not careful,
i may prefer kindness and flowers
compassion, mercy, and dreams;
but i know war as well as peace
and i will end any nightmare before 
it infests dreams—
so go ahead,
if you see me pawing at the ground,
know it’s the end;
because i am done being disrespected
i am who i am
doesn’t make me any lesser or more
than anyone else
i just want the right to exist without
judgment or fear—
to walk down a street without
being cat-called would be a wonderful thing.

sometimes monsters are felled

“hey, queer girl, do you have the time?” nope. too busy being magically me to have time for
bigotry and hatred, darling. too busy bringing the light to the world so they can know rainbows
to be bothered by a little girl who probably lashed out simply because she was wounded, and i
know what it is like to suffer; but that’s no excuse to cut someone else—no one ever takes your wounds from you, you just end up cutting another another soul; i’ve been a bully before so i
know what it’s like to be in that place of roaring pain but breaking others won’t make you
shine—you have to take accountability for yourself and your own actions, you’ve got to be
willing to change; you have to shed the scales of the past and emerge a whole new being—you
may never get on my level, some people refuse to change; but know this—your pretty face
doesn’t make you any less a monster, and sometimes monsters are felled by unicorns.

not afraid to fight

when you treat me like a unicorn
i will evade capture
because i am not here to entertain you
just trying to live my life and accomplish
my dreams, i don’t have time to 
be your conquest;

i will disappear into the rainbow
as quickly as i appeared—

wild, fierce, and untamed
i am not someone
you’re ever going to own;

i am the unicorn that isn’t skiddish around
humans but that doesn’t necessarily
mean that’s a good thing—

unicorns have horns to gore,
and i won’t spare you because you have
“good intentions”;
because the road to hell is paved with them

& i can’t see how that’s true when you’re a perfect stranger—

i’m not afraid to love, but i am not afraid to fight for
myself, either.

i’ll trample you

most girls love unicorns
because they’re
pretty and cute,
i love them because they’re
fierce and wild 
like me;
just as untamed and just as 
impatient with your excuses because
your bad behavior isn’t something 
anyone should be forced 
to accept—

i don’t owe anything simply
because i exist,
and i need you to recognize
that i have a power and magic all my own;
before i deliver you curses to gore you
worse than a unicorn’s horn—

because i am done 
with fools and court jesters
thinking they’re king enough to 
mount this queen,

i’ll buck you off like an angry unicorn;
trample you beneath my hooves
and watch as the animals carry off your body.

the lost unicorn

you were the last unicorn,
and i watched you run into the sea
to defeat the red bull;
and that was the last time i saw you—
those pink sunsets escorted you out of my view,
lady utena,
and transferred you to a world where i don’t exist;
i have no one to blame but myself but i still
miss you—
a friendship tossed aside
broken because i valued my pride
more than my love,
and i am sorry that i wounded you in the process;
i lashed out with my wound and cut you instead of the one
that broke me open—
and if i knew our last goodbye was the last
maybe i would have said something more clever,
or maybe i wouldn’t have said goodbye
at all.

you will feel the ground shaking

unicorns aren’t simply skiddish beings
they’re full of magic,
and some of us will gore you
when you cross us;
i wouldn’t stand in our way if i were you—
but everyone has free will
do what you must,
but we will act accordingly;
every action has a consequence
and the ripples of your bullying will die
here and now
the war will be begun if you keep 
pushing for the unraveling of our existence—
we can exist side by side,
it doesn’t have to be this way;
but if you insist that it will be your will and 
no one else’s 
then you’ll feel the ground shaking
as rainbows become thunder clouds—
the lightening will strike our horns
before they impale you
with the honor your discarded long ago.

Linda M. Crate’s works have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies both online and in print. She is the author of six poetry chapbooks, the latest of which is More Than Bone Music (Clare Songbirds Publishing House 2019). She’s also the author of the novel Phoenix Tears (Czykmate Books 2018). Recently she has published two full-length poetry collections Vampire Daughter (Dark Gatekeeper Gaming 2020) and The Sweetest Blood (Cyberwit 2020).

Image: “Side Effects of Social Distancing Can Be Severe” via mylongwknd on Instagram

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