Be a song bird. Not too loud. Not too pretty, and not too proud. Not the softest, nor the lowest. Yes, a happy bird, a bluebird. A happy, blue bird.
Be a puppet. Be my puppet; not too brazen, nor coy. Tell the stories. Tell them my way. Only my way, today. I can’t hear yours. Through the sheer noise. Of my bright, pounding heart. So tell my stories, only mine. Only mine, that’s your part.
Walk the balance beam. Hands out, but don’t walk too fast. Make it look hard. Now hurdle it. No, not like that. Take your girdle off. Put it back on. Fix your lipstick, you’re a mess. Out of place, leave my face. You’re a terrible wreck.
We are serious. We are furious. We say the wrong things. We aren’t constrained enough. We are insolent. We are words and our skin.
Be a happy bird, a bluebird. A happy, blue bird. Act the way I need. Be the thing I need. Talk the way I say. Now shut up, I say. It is time to go to bed.
We need to push it back. We need to stare it down. We need to dig in, and deep. There’s no time for this. It’s not the place for this. You make my head hurt, and my daughter’s heart.
Put it far away. We won’t lap it up. We’ll pour out your cup, it is poisonous. We aren’t yours. We aren’t toys. More than noise. We will stay.