Tag Archives: Women

Complexity and Complicity

Forgive me my ancient remedy,
My overthinking, my overwringing
Each moment into a cacophony
Of strained, offkey singing

When I feel overwrought.

You gifted me to look inside,
And underneath, and from afar
A gift to see conclusions implied,
To guide my wandering star

By unknown charts and graphs.

Your gifts preserved me
I’m thinking on them oft again-
My years now stretch to eight and thirty:
You discipled me in lone places when

I wasted so much trying to join a club.

Disciple me again in this foreign land
I use this overthinking
To try to understand
When my engagement started sinking

Into the deep barrier of me:

To find the ladder back out-
I can feel another cistern
Of grief, and anger, and doubt
And I know I must return

To the spot, to break open the earth

I want to be angry,
Because I know if it’s not true
I enslaved myself to agree,
To believe them over You

And there’s nothing left but to repent-

Which I know I will do,
But I thought they held the keys-
They didn’t permit me pass through-
And now could it be

It only mattered who held the Truth?

It only mattered who the Truth held?


Sangria and angrier

More than a year, it takes
on a single hand
to count these nights.
The foundations shake,
coldness expands,
and I’ve abandoned trying to make it right;
I only try to outlast the hours.
I can, but he has deadfall traps
constructed in his soul.
The bait entices, he devours,
snapping jowls and swallowed scraps,
until the trigger takes its toll.
I forget the Viking even exists.
He’s a stranger here, hard to know,
subdued by character and discipline
but when he took my wrist
and didn’t let go,
I realized he was here again.
His Achilles isn’t in his heel,
you’ll find it in his blood-soaked genes:
An heirloom-trap passed on in grief.
Still angry, I asked him how he feels.
“Good,” he replied, like being mean
brought some long-anticipated relief.
I know his decisions are his alone,
and generally he loves me too well,
but these nights leave me unsettled and concerned-
Is resentment hiding, ingrown,
waiting for the chance to swell?
He wouldn’t be the first good man I’ve turned.

Does loving me require the odd glass?
A little something to feel right-
a drink, an escape, an evening of bitter regret?
It’ll be months before the next trespass.
Tomorrow we’ll forget tonight,
But I can’t forget it yet.


The Defendant Rises

It never got easier
The way obedience usually does,
It gets heavier each year.
I was here in the beginning:
The territory is changeless.
Wasn’t I submissive
When the pastor said my mom
Got beaten because she wasn’t?
If she weren’t a contentious woman
He wouldn’t have to raise his hand.
Didn’t I understand?
When my pastor wouldn’t talk to me
Because my gender forced sexuality
Just like my abusers proclaimed
I didn’t complain.
When I discovered he’d known, for years,
What they did to me in the dark,
But fearing speaking to me
He just let it be.
Then, when I finally took his advice
Found a nice boy; surrendered to yoke
He broke the plan; he broke my heart
He wouldn’t even witness the vow.
I was never really included then;
Nothing’s different now.
I submit to the pastor
My husband picked out
He preached Jezebel was hiding
Inside my soul
I tried cutting her out,
But I never found her
now I’m never whole.
I tried asking him for help
But I’m the most dangerous whelp
The Kingdom of Men knows:
A woman who actually wants to grow,
but they have butchered me all.

When I was still a little child
They dug my grown-up grave.
With open hands raised, they invited me come
A tender thing, trusting, I knelt so young
In the hole they scraped
I became the slave
and all the rest was left unsung.


The Sky Is Also Pink

“The Dwarves are for the Dwarves!”
Sitting in their little boxes
Their righteous little shells,
And from hell, they preach heaven.

“The Dwarves are for the Dwarves!”
No one takes them in, no one
Ever reaches, ever dares try
To pierce their high defenses

“The Dwarves are for the Dwarves!”
They only trust their own stock:
Forged ideas and banished doubts.
They can’t be taken in; they will never be let out.

The Dwarves are for the Dwarves
As they white-knuckle the fear
They believe helps them see,
Which is why the poor Dwarves

Will never be free.


Taboo

Reopening Soon

The cheap sign,
Improper spacing
Rings out all I’m not facing,
A slur against divine.

Gaudy nights
Take place inside
Women hiding
Everything but their flesh from sight

Makes me sick
To think of the distortion,
The gawking at proportions
Makes me quick

To anger, to cry injustice
I feel slimy eyes
Feeding on the lies
Of porn, of lust, this

Slur against women,
Against what’s good,
Against where I’ve stood,
Where I stand; its criminal,

But legal.

Reopening Soon,
All my prejudice, the sting
Of every rotting, grasping thing,
Reopening soon my wounds.


A Pound of Flesh

Tomorrow I will treat myself
As something lesser than I can be;
I will punish my appearance
For my undesirability,
And I will go about my business
As a wasted commodity.

Tomorrow I’ll agree with you
About my insufficient claim
I’ll stay silent because I know
I’ve no right to change the game;
I’m an unwanted anomaly
In the world of All The Same.

Tomorrow I’ll use what bits I have
To feed the shallow illusion
I will grovel for forgiveness
For being a poor substitution
I will accept my surface
Necessitates my exclusion,

Tomorrow I will crawl about
The rotten crust on which I’m born,
I will discount my existence
For the crime of being shopworn
After you drank my youth,
I learned to swallow my scorn.

And tomorrow I will drink it down,
And tomorrow I will judge my skin,
And tomorrow you will take the blade
Forged every generation
And exact the pound from all of us
Because you’re hungry again

But tonight I’m angry with you
For a lifetime of distraction,
For a woman’s only strength
Being the strength of her attraction-
Because your every passing desire
Is another pound’s extraction

In every passing generation,
Ad nauseam, with no drop of compassion.