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  Mar 2015 Shirley
Leah Rae
The following is a quotation.
"In the emergency room, they have what's called **** kits where a woman can get cleaned out."  
-Texas State Representative Jodie Laubenberg

Dear Mrs. Laubenberg,

I have never felt so betrayed by another woman before.
And I know this was your attempt at a prolife argument.
But you don’t understand anything about your own anatomy.

Unlike you, I know my own body.
The home I've created here,
inside myself,
these shoulders,
and stretch marks.

Believe me when I say - I am my own war memorial.

So let this body be ready to be broken.

I will give birth to umbilical cord nooses.

Hang myself with my own womanhood.
Blood soaked ******* and blue and black bite marks.
I will never be anyone’s victim.

I was built - hand crafted by some creator - who knew he was breeding me for war.

Let this body be a graveyard to all my past lovers.

Let it be known that I was built for destroying things just as often as I create them.
The lipstick I wear is the same color as blood.
I was made to devour.
A caged animal in my throat.
A growl asleep in my chest.
A ribcage built for holding me captive because I'm a savage animal.

Do not call me weak.
A ***** bites.
A ***** swallows her prey alive.

So don’t you dare push my knees apart into metal stirrups, and
“clean me out”.
Do not bandage my wounds.
Do not wipe me clean of this recklessness.
Do not cover these bruises.
Let me stand, a testimony to what they have done to me.
To us.
My wounds will not be silent.

I want you to look at me.
At us.

We need to carry these battle wounds with us.

On my college campus, we have been broken in like cattle.
We know the scent of fear.
We’ve been branded black and gold.  
We were told to carry mace like an accessory to this sin.
To never walk alone at night.
To travel in packs.
To carry weapons.
To carry guns.
To carry our femininity concealed because bare thighs are dangerous here.

Each week is only finished when a ****** assault paints my campus crimson.

**** is a hate crime against weakness.

So I’m taking back femininity and I’m deciding what it’s synonymous with.

And never again will submission mean woman.
Never again will girl mean powerless.
Never again will tenderness be considered vulnerable.

I am a flower on ******* fire.
I am Mother Nature,
Thousand watt lightning storms and forest fires that could turn you into dust.
You cannot break me.

Every 90 seconds a woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth.

So yes, we are used to giving this thing called life, our absolute everything.

There are 400,000 untested **** kits in America alone.

So yes, I know, Mrs. Laubenberg.

I know you picture women’s bodies like machines,
Something than can be deconstructed, cleaned, and put back together.
But I am a human being, and I don’t assemble easily.

****** assault belongs to the survivor.

How dare you try to white wash your own guilt and try and file our stolen femininity under blood slides and nail scrapings.

You are a woman too, Mrs. Laubenberg.

And I know, these hate crimes look like girls in short skirts to you.
They look drunk.
They look *****.
They look like *** workers caught in fishnets.

They look deserving.

But Mrs. Laubenberg,

They also look like your sisters.
And your mother.
And your daughters.

And if something isn’t done to change this,


**They might end up looking like you.
This is originally supposed to be a spoken word piece. All feedback is welcome.
Shirley Mar 2015
Thought catalyzed by stimulus.

A change in electrical impulses which burst and branch from outstretched, pink-tipped fingers.
Signal which travels thousands of multifaceted miles that curl and weave amongst themselves as highways of
Nerves act as roads that facilitate reaction.

Conception born from vibrations, undulating and deepened waves.

Concept begot from color gradients.
Cones, rods, and darkness absorb light into their small oblivion.
Each detecting.
Reflection and refraction of pure white—

Electrical signals, as firecrackers, flicker and ignite a flame within the mind,
The cytoplasmic, grey mass.
A paradoxical recognition of self.  
Beings of electrical processes and mechanics.

The subconscious acts as a blueprint in its seemingly endless convoluting of chemical coding.

Consciousness spirals out to the depths within what is unknown,
A place with no agenda and no aspiration.
Until the mind recoils back to the comforting space which encompasses the forefront of one’s faintly
Surfacing thoughts.
Shirley Mar 2015
It is a vastness of cerulean,
A pool of blue which surrounds clouds that are strewn together.  
Tumbling, accumulating, towering formations of remarkable depth and awesome beauty.
Billows which blanket and envelop a sphere of life, turning the almost infinite and indefinite blue to grey,
Massed with the heaviness of forthcoming precipitation.
As time turns, and the big blue planet rotates, sunlight is reflected and refracted by particles unseen—painting swelling clouds with pale yellows that bleed into succulent pinks, deep reds, royal indigo, and then
The flowering violet of conceived night.
The sky portrays a huge entity, a formation of solidity and stability.
It does not contain, nor withhold from the terraces and crevices of the Earth’s surface.  
It is as close to infinity as the basic human mind can grasp,
The uttermost extension of one’s realm of existence.

To look up at the stars is an annihilation of Ego,
A humbling reminder of one’s relevance,
Of one’s fragmentation of being,
Of one’s essential insignificance in the immortal turning of the deep and everlasting vibration of the Cosmos.

Stars, barely conceivable at times,
Act as portals to the past spilled carelessly across an inky nighttime sky.
These subtle flecks, minute glimmers of incredible explosions, are billions of light-years away
Across the fabric of space and time.
The sky is an incredible portal to those things outside of mortal grasp,
A manifestation of all that is unknown, yet shared by every state of consciousness.  
A familiarity and a comforting reminder of eternity that will exist far beyond the human experience.  With its undulating formations, precipitation, protection, and sheer exposure,
It is a paradoxical beauty.
Shirley Mar 2015
Weak static creates an uncomfortable tautness in the air.
A sound emitted from the screen is heavy, weighing.
Muted light grips to ions which imperceptibly moss over the dusty glass monitor.  
A world within a dish.  
Slapdash pixilation.
Fragments—just fractions, part in snaps.
No image takes form in the storm of digitalized points, indistinctive refrain is absently composed.
The apartment, thick with a cloudy green hue.
Stripped, pink shoulders, a flush which spreads in a subtle frenzy—
Bleeds across an exposed chest.  
Vulnerable core.  
Noticeably contracting, beating the high concentration of life from one source
Into branched capillaries.
Into plush, coy lips—
Sinews tear, a dark liquid pools, liberated from perforations.  
Flowing from the source and staining porcelain teeth.
The innate capability to devour proves true outside feasting.  
Femininity of unbridled ******* and echoing amusement,
Cataplexies pressed and dried upon blank, white pages which prove difficult to turn—
only facilitated by the hand of time.
A vast expanse of briny depths outstretches further than what’s perceivable.
Waves rock a feeble coo which escapes from child’s lips at the spectacle of a mother.
*Cri de Coeur

— The End —