“Think,” Aretha Franklin and Ted White, Aretha Now, Atlantic, 1968
This dive-bombing catbird
swoops low in divots, porchward,
firing her warning shot—
all adolescence, swift & raucous—
aimed at me. I’ve strayed too close
to her hidden, sloppy nest.
I’ve been her. Loading the dishwasher,
passive-aggressively shaking ass,
fists bristled with dinner-party cutlery,
finger-scraping the plates of infidelity:
I’ve lip-synched to the Queen
of What You’ve Tried to Do to Me.
Me? I’ve mislaid the thinking gene.
I’m seventeen. A loaded magazine. Pure gasoline.