Nikki Wallschlaeger
If They Wanted To

                              For Tina Turner


If they wanted to, they would. They’ve certainly built a fine table for themselves. Only the best favela linen and shanty pottery for them! Not that she cares one way or another. Or at least that’s the face she puts on. You should see the people they invite over for their weekend brunches. Shaking a lot of unclean hands and on the next banking day they’re summoned to deliver a harmonizing message about the eternal virtues of having faith and patience in cultural and state politics. He wants attention like any man. She’s in her place as the selfless woman beside her Maker. Of course she regularly says it was her choice. Feminism is all about choice these days. Or is there such a thing as matrimony where women are truly beside their men and not behind them in this world? That’s a big question. Women are trained that way, you know. Same chapter with better technology. You gotta be vigilant all your life to unpack it. If I wanted to say something to take him down a notch I would. I’ve seen enough. But what good would it do? Bury my family in crisis for their business? What about my life? Tina Turner, God rest her beautiful soul, when asked if she ever stood up for anything, said she stood up for her own life. That's an exquisite answer. Makes you think twice about getting involved in public service. If they wanted things to change, sincerely change, they would’ve done it a long time ago. They could’ve just let it happen.


Found In Volume 53, No. 01
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Nikki Wallschlaeger
About the Author

Nikki Wallschlaeger is the author of Crawlspace (Bloof Books, 2017), Houses (Horse Less Press, 2015), and I Hate Telling You How I Really Feel (graphic chapbook from Bloof Books, 2015). Her third collection, Waterbaby, and her next book, Hold Your Own, are both from Copper Canyon Press.