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Jordan Frances Apr 2020
You keep me safe.

I am the locket held close to someone’s chest, cherished by the illusion of being. Should I be opened and unhinged, the exposure will make the picture dry out & fade away.

An administrator at work sees the shallowness of my breath & the pools surfacing in my face. I am left alone with 200 students bursting with beautiful & untamed energy. His arm around my shoulder, he says, “Hide.”

Everything is dizzying here, but somewhere, this alternate world gets me to stop apologizing.

My grief flows, a creek spilling over its edges from small floods. I let the air hold me still.

Before I report, I cannot see through the smoke I become.  “What if no one believes me?”  She says, “I do.”  I sink back into my body, but at least I have returned home.
Jordan Frances Apr 2020
I am almost twenty-three & her gentle prophecy has yet to come true

My curiosity gets the best of me and I browse through my old musings

I was so...seventeen.

My warped understanding of love with a twenty six year-old man


whose sheets I still find myself lost in from time to time.

Fights with my father were mountains

& I was climbing to the apex of his approval,

always just short before backsliding.

Okay, so I guess things haven’t changed that much.

Maybe the five year mark of graduating high school

makes me long to have accomplished something that feels worth this living

I spent so much time hating myself for.

I worry my poems will sound so...22 in five years

marked by smoking too much **** & trying to outdo myself

with tenderness.

Even if I hate my now poems someday,

they serve as prepackaged memories

disguised as metaphors.

As parts of my trying to fall into rain,

unchanged & stop apologizing.

I feel my body’s accomplishments already.

Making it out alive counts.
Oct 2016 · 597
Jordan Frances Oct 2016
When I tell my little sister I got a pet mouse
She's asks "why didn't you get a hamster like a normal person?"
Her voice poisoned with disgust
When the guy at the pet store says he didn't expect me to be a snake person
Says he didn't expect to sell a mouse to someone like me so quickly
I know he means little girl, breakable woman
Little girls are not supposed to be into snakes and scraped knees and oversized tshirts
But I, I always have been
And yet my friends who have the best intentions
Tell me if people saw my accessories they'd never assume I'm queer
But they don't say queer they say gay
But I'm not gay
But I'm not straight
And I keep teetering between too much and not enough
Always in this heat of this new game
And I was never taught how to play
I was never given a rule book to my gender
To my sexuality
Because they never tell you how to be in between
I never correct people when they mislabel me in one way or another
Because I've learned people hear what they want to believe
It means I will be wasting the already fleeting breath in my lungs
To explain something to those who will never embrace it
My gay friends debated over whether bisexual people are actually gay in front of me
And wondered why I walked out of the restaurant
They didn't see the lava bubbling with anger and shame at the back of my throat
I cannot even call myself bisexual
Because that implies too gendered
That implies too simple
For my hopelessly complexed identity
I find myself somewhere on the border
And some days this body serves its purpose
Other days it is violently trying to escape itself
Not quite enough to mention to anyone but me
Not quite enough to matter to anyone but me
But I see these binaries as a prison
And most days it seems like I am in solitary confinement
Too much, not enough
Always in between
Oct 2016 · 1.2k
Manic Depression
Jordan Frances Oct 2016
I usually fall asleep with the light on
Because in the morning it seems like the darkness never came
My body is a perpetual light switch
Always swept up in a rapid shift from darkness to florescence
Giving someone like me mania after long spells of depression
Is like giving an alcoholic a shot of whiskey
I need it to feel like I am worth something
I need it to feel like I can get anything done
Why did God, whoever the hell they are,
Decide I needed the super power
Of dragging myself out of the pit of my bed
Only to be blindsided with some sort of dangerous drug
See, most of the time I only reach an abridged version of that mania
But when it peaks it is just that:
It is my favorite brand of tequila
And the last drag of a cigarette
The one where the backlog from the filter gets lost in your throat
But it keeps you buzzed for a while
You see, mania sends you spinning
A trip only a certain kind of acid can take you on
You are constantly carnival
With lights and sound and fire
That no one can calm down
You are never quite at home in your body
Which might be why others can make it theirs so easily
Most days you binge on ***** and **** and ***
Are manic days
Manic depression is like losing control of the car
And other days, forgetting how to drive
Mania is like ****
You don't need to sleep when it's got you
Mania after depression is an abusive lover who knew you were coming home
Knew you would be back for more
It was only a matter of time
Before you collapsed into their arms
Jordan Frances Oct 2016
When I came home and found you lying on the couch
Eating vanilla ice cream and watching Oprah
On a Thursday
I knew something was wrong
I always wonder if the way I taught you
To tie little pink bows at the end of your wrists
Cut off your circulation
Causing you to slice them open
Watching the blood pool beneath you in the bathtub
It rippled, so smooth and gently
So ladylike, as you have always been taught
My girl, I know you watched me in the mirror
As I synched my waist together with different diet regiments
Plucked the hairs above my brow and beneath my chin
As if my skin grew flowers beneath its surface
Now, as I find deposits of ash and *****
Hidden in the folds of your restlessness and depression
I know it is more than teenage angst
But I wait until I can longer deny your illness
I will tell you you are not sick
Even as the blood creeps up your forearm
The scabs are gasping for sunlight
As they peak beyond the seams of your sleeve
When you are sent home from school for being suicidal
We wonder why you never told us
But you did, my girl
My brilliant girl
Though your lips never formed the words
How could we not have seen this coming?
Your father will get defensive
His armor raised as you become child yet again
Fifteen, not girl, not yet woman
It will be hard for me to ignore you during an episode
But baby, I only do this because I love you
There were no training wheels before we were dropped
Into unfamiliar terrain
This sickness is a battlefield for us, too
But we still fear the untapped power of those little white pills
It is not that we do not want you to get better
We just don't want to lose
The little girl we have always known.
for Mom,
I love you
written from my mother's perspective
Oct 2016 · 379
On Drowning
Jordan Frances Oct 2016
After he leaves me in the parking lot
I walk back to my dorm and **** half a handle of *****
I become as sweet as the peach tea I chase it with
While as pungent as the burn in the back of my throat
I needed to leave my body for a minute
Because no one ever taught me this could be ****
So I am calling in sick from reality.
I wonder how the fourth time a boy takes advantage of me
It can still not be my fault
So I am trying to drown myself again
Only this time,
I am swimming in the middle of my floor
I am a transcendent drunk
I can be anything you want me to be
Including survivor
Because right now
Victim is sticky and wet against my bones
Gnawing tension, turning me to dust
But I can smile for you
Flip my hair and laugh
You and I will both know how shallow this is
We will both silently acknowledge its insincerity
But neither of us will say anything
Good dog, play your part
After all, if a woman is ***** in private
And no one is around to see it
Does she make a sound?
Will anyone believe her?
Did it ever really happen
to begin with?
Jun 2016 · 723
Jordan Frances Jun 2016
To Brock Turner
Who they call "ex-swimmer"
"Former athlete"
Who I call ******
I know they've made excuses for you
For your entire life
You're a daddy's boy, Brock
As he didn't think twenty minutes of action
Constitutes twenty years of punishment
But when the one you hunted wakes up
Choking on the memories you planted in her head
When she still feels the pine needles stabbing her neck
Even once they are gone
Will your father defend her?
You see, she doesn't have the luxury to get off for good behavior
In five, or ten, or twenty years
Or in your case, six months
No jury decides her fate
You already did that, Brock
And I'm sure she was not the only one
Who else's life sentence was issued by you?
How many other women were ripped from their bodies
By your hungry hands and shredding teeth?
When I get angry that you
And my own attacker
Had excuses handed to you like face cards
Because you both were young
Because you were smarter than this
Because you made a mistake
Because your future is more important than mine
I am told to stop being an angry feminist *****
Stop burning my bra and burning bridges
With men who might actually want me close.
I, the angry feminist *****, push people away
I , the angry feminist *****,
am tired of men going to feminist rallies and making **** jokes in the same 24 hours
am tired of men who I've known for years trapping me in a stairwell because I will be their next piece of prey
am tired of men who are the face of male feminism treating women like clothing they can throw away when they get bored
With that,
I am reminded that it is a man's world
and I am no more than a passerby
My outrage cannot change how someone feels about my experience
about their experience
about her experience
My outrage will not cause people to hate you, Brock
My outrage can ignite a spark in someone
who is already *******
My outrage can inspire someone to use their voice
and another
and another
and another
My outrage can become another voice in a sea of fire that consumes the system which allows
you, Brock,
to mean more than your victim.
My outrage is bursting
and it does not end here.
May 2016 · 656
Young and Hungry
Jordan Frances May 2016
My aunt likes to tell this story / where her and my grandma used to have this vibrant garden / and she'd make salsa out of the Crimson tomatoes / from the crops. / one time when I was two / she / made this spicy salsa / and I / ate the whole *** of it / before/ she could catch / me
I am two / with hungry eyes / and a raging tongue.
I am sixteen / and I know every time I hear my / parents yelling or / my dad angrily snapping at my mom or / my heart like explosion in my body / killing everything around it / because I know the fire in his voice is about me
Our tongues both bleed Crimson / both hold salsa in our cheekbones.
Our tongues collide inconveniently / now every time I am home from college / I wonder when I'll be kicked out or / wonder if I should leave my room or / wonder if I should drive away / make example out of my dripping body / cut open my skin and bleed my overwhelmed corpse of its screaming / parts
Body, fueled by rage / family, fueled by fire / just like / my tastebuds and / my / yearnings.
Apr 2016 · 489
Name You Survivor
Jordan Frances Apr 2016
They never put trigger warnings on mushroom fields
On big houses in the country
With lots of rooms that can swallow you whole
They will claim you as food to feed the mouths of their lions
Who will name you victim
Name you child
I, I was a child
When you painted your name across my body in blood
And I said no
I said no
But I did what you asked of me
Always so eager to please
Good girl
Good dog
Fetch it.
We socialize little girls to submit
And you're the polite child
Until your identity is wrapped up in staying silent
Because the most interesting part about you
Cannot be spoken out loud
The most interesting part about you
Is the game you play with another person
Is flying out of your body when he grooms you
Flying is a super power, baby
You have magic in your fingertips
That's why he mistakes you for someone older
Eleven years later, I find myself crying in a closet
You branded me with victim
Yet I have survivor tattooed on my bare skin
Every bit of my human says
Child and adult alike shout
"I should be over this"
Two parts, constantly in conflict
Agree that I should forget an entire part of my life
That shattered me before I had the tools I needed to reassemble the pieces
Surviving means there will be months where I am fine
And then trigger warning I smell the stale stench of mushrooms
Or trigger warning get lost in the rooms of my labyrinth mind
And I am right back in that bed again
Why do I always need something to hold onto?
My father says I make up reasons to be depressed
But honestly, I make trophies out of reasons to recover
Elevated high on the mantle
Every day I see a new one
And I'm not saying everyone can reclaim this easily
Because I thinks that's a lie we tell people like me
Without understanding how much there is below the surface
But I know I had to take this back in order to grow and bloom
And I remember:
Pretty, no, pretty strong girl
No, pretty strong woman
You are surviving this nightmare
You are surviving this
You are surviving.
Apr 2016 · 1.1k
Assimilation Survival Guide
Jordan Frances Apr 2016
I am a short, stout girl in the corner of the room
my arms were much smaller last June
I search for reasons not to relapse in shadows like corpses
they're all dead, anyway
because my roommate is obsessed with the gym
because my best friend is obsessed with fad diets
even though I have at least fifty pounds on both of them.

I am forcing myself to use recovery speech
because it gets me through therapy more effectively
"fat is not a feeling"
my mind scoffs as I speak
every word copied and pasted from someone else's recovery blog
but my recovery is not avocados and yoga mats and veganism
it is complicated
it is painful.

I am the small, queer girl in the pew at church
so nervous as the skin around my nails begin to bleed
the scar on my ******* says "*******"
to American evangelicalism
and yet my lips still sing the loudest
the product of the "moral right"
how lovely it is to pretend to belong.

I am acting like my body knows what it is doing
as I reach for the hands of my most recent lover
I drop hints to my Republican parents
church members
best friend
but still,
I am struggling.

I am trying to undo the codification of bulimia
from the fibers of my bones
I relearn daily
spun like wool through the continuum
of someone else's broken body
I become a success story
for some
but for others
I am still fat.

I want my eating disorder
my abuse
my queerness
to look normal
to be typical
some say
assimilation is liberation
so why do I still feel
chained and bound?
why am I still
Apr 2016 · 482
Jordan Frances Apr 2016
Sometimes I forget that I want to get better
It's harder to scream when you don't remember what happened to you
When your thoughts are only pictures
Not the chair, the couch, the carpet, the walls
It's everywhere, even with the best intentions

Like ****** Assault Awareness Month posters plastered all over my college
Even though we read epic poems by Derek Walcott
The man convicted of sexually harassing multiple women
And still teaches at Harvard
But my professor didn't feel it was pertinent information
Until my friend asked about it in class
Both he and Google claim it was a smear campaign
Even though he most likely touched every woman who testified.
They say we burn our own houses down
But we're left behind in the rubble

Senior year of high school
I get into an argument with my lunch table
They tell me how some women like to accuse high profile people of ****
When they are on top
See: Bill Cosby
My face is hot by this point in the conversation
I try to spit words out, but they sizzle up in midair
My friend asks
"If this happened, why are they all coming forward now?"
They say we burn our own houses down
But we're left behind in the rubble

A year earlier
When a boy with rogue hands and boiling breath
Caused my body and my words to freeze into my skin
I tried to scrub the dirt from myself
More times than I care to remember
I tell a friend
He tells me I should have reported it
No proof, next in line please
I tell another friend
She says I probably just regret it
I will get over it soon enough
They say we burn our own houses down
But we're left behind in the rubble

This world has built the home of my attacker up around me
I know that recovery is the price I pay for living in this body
When seeing his face is no longer wanting to **** myself
When purging will not control the places my shriveled up corpse was dragged to
But how can I want to get better
When I see how we are blamed for our own imprisonment?
When songs about **** are in every commercial
Every grocery store aisle
Every radio station that comes on repeat?

Recovery is the price I pay for living in this body
But sometimes it would be easier
To stop paying rent.
Apr 2016 · 971
Jordan Frances Apr 2016
To my fake nails
That flaunted a pastel color in the fall
I don't remember why, exactly
I only recall ripping you off, one by one
Like petals from a daisy
It hurt, but I liked the sound of glue
Tearing off dead skin
Plunk you into the trash can
Because you didn't scratch his eyes out
Like you were told to
You didn't react
Like you were told to
Your body didn't fight back
Like you were told to
Instead, body break body shatter
Like glass on wood floor
Now, I watch her fall as smoothly as I did
When will she shatter for him?
Now, my real nails dig into my wrists
Holding onto everything you took
When you - I don't know what to call it anymore
Call it ****** assault
Call it revictimization
But that makes it seems like it was never his fault shatter in the first place
When your life becomes nothing
But sharpened nails and broken glass
You forget what you are made out of.
I see his iron bar face
But I am composed of diamond
Because the only thing that can break one
Is itself.
Poem #2 in my new series.
Apr 2016 · 423
Newport Style
Jordan Frances Apr 2016
To the cigarette I left behind
I wish you were lit
Want you to burn that moment out of my memory
Leave holes in the carpet of my body
Like the holes in my story:
Why didn't you report it?
You did lead him on...
Well, what were you wearing?
Trusty nicotine wand
Could my cotton mouth not block his tongue from my throat?
You came to my rescue too little too late
Later, I pressed my finger to thumb
Squeezing you in between
I kissed your filter
And then another and another and another
Until I found myself kissing the pavement
Face down, halfway to forgetting
Forgetting the feeling of his body pressed against mine
The way I burnt up in his sweaty palms
My body bag sizzled around me
Incinerated while still barely alive.
Oh, dear cancer stick
I have felt your tragedy
As my body shriveled up beneath me
At the hands of another.
A series of poems written from the perspective of inanimate objects about the same event.
Apr 2016 · 486
Jordan Frances Apr 2016
I wanted to write a poem about you
But I forgot how to say your name.
You see, it is slashed into my skin
By your razor sharp claws
But it hides itself inside the **** in my tongue
Twisting itself into knots
I fear the sound of your name out loud
Because someone might hear it
It might hurt someone who knows you
It might hurt my friend who dates you
She will claim that she loves the way your name billows out of her mouth
Smoke from a freshly rolled cigarette
Until she discovers it is laced with poison
Each time she takes a drag
It chokes me
I stand downwind, still
Eager to take you into my body
That's why I still feel your kiss sometimes
From before your hands carved a crucifix into my wooden flesh
My body became a dead tree
It loves lurking in dense corners
Searching for sunlight
I can't feel anyone's touch
Without believing I will be harmed, now
But I keep searching for love in dark places
I keep reaching for hands that don't look like yours
My tongue keeps saying the names of other people
But it cannot vocalize the phonetics behind each letter
Four letters
One syllable
I said it, and it feels
Like taking back my own body
I write it, and it looks
Like I could call you Hell
Call you evil
Call you vicious
Sometimes I wish you were any of those things
Then maybe people would believe me
In reality,
You're just someone else
With a case of whipping tongue.
Apr 2016 · 708
Jordan Frances Apr 2016
My prayer looks like I stutter in front of the dinner table
My prayer looks like thankyouforthisfoodamen
My prayer looks like gets nervous talking in front of people
My prayer looks like two-faced ***** who can't be trusted
My prayer looks like a God I've been taught not to relate to
My prayer looks like I'm cherry picking the Bible
My prayer looks like justifying my queerness
My prayer looks like I'll die trying
My prayer looks like why is my theology less legitimate than yours?
My prayer looks like wound in the flesh
Looks like begging God to stop boys from abusing me
Looks like begging God to strengthen the tendons in my wrist so I can fight back next time
Looks like begging God to put an end to the next times
My prayer looks like plucking fists out of my father's mouth
My prayer looks like domestic violence is not just physical
My prayer looks like ****** violence is not just ****
My prayer looks like I want to call the boy who assaulted me a ******
My prayer looks like I want a better word for what he did to me
My prayer looks like I wish he hurt me and left cuts and bruises
My prayer looks like maybe then, they would have believed me
My prayer looks trying to explain **** culture to my daddy
My prayer looks like fighting back tears when he says victim blaming is over exaggerated
My prayer looks like fighting back tears when his next sentence is how women need to be more careful instead
My prayer looks like forgetting how to pray
My prayer looks like losing my faith
My prayer looks like mourning for what I have lost
My prayer looks like fearing my father
My prayer looks like loving my father
My prayer looks like I just want someone to believe me
My prayer looks like I've only been taught to be sorry
My prayer looks like it is not my fault anymore
My prayer has been decorated in doilies and daffodils
My prayer is told it's just a little girl, to sit down
My prayer has been told it won't change anything
My prayer holds a loaded gun
My prayer can change the world
My prayer isn't sorry anymore
My prayer isn't sorry.
Mar 2016 · 493
Jordan Frances Mar 2016
I am sitting in a classroom during my freshman year of college
Reading about **** and infidelity
Western literature,
Where Jupiter can **** virgins for sport
Where Hamlet can assault Ophelia
And it's okay because he is pretending to be insane.
I see my assailant's face in Hamlet's
The boy who told me he was sorry six months later
Because he had been dealing with some things in his head
I see my assailant's hands in Zeus's
At seven years old, clearly a ******
But you can use my tongue as a gag
As you cause me to choke on my pleas for peace
You see, throughout the ages
Women have had their tongues used as gags
And as nooses
Like when Maya Angelou writes about taking back her body
We say it is ******
When Maya Angelou writes about ****
We rip her words from school curriculums
When Ovid writes about ****
We say it is literature
When women write **** into the folds of their skin
We call them attention ******
When men pen abuse onto paper
We say it is eloquent
Say it is mythology
Watching a friend get brutally drugged and date ***** is no myth
Burning her ******'s name out of her mouth is no myth
Replaying my own movie of childhood abuse at seven
And assault at sixteen is no myth
We treat women's narratives of violation as stories
Just ask Bill Cosby.
As I am forced to read about my own history for entertainment
As I hear my father say how college girls cry **** to get attention
That they should be more careful
How am I supposed to trust my own memory?
When everything around me tells me
I am lying
How am I supposed to trust my own experience?
My tongue keeps getting stuck inside of itself when I try to tell my story
Because I fear people will not believe me
Maya Angelou writes that she knows why the caged bird sings
But I know what keeps it silent.
Feb 2016 · 571
Jordan Frances Feb 2016
I am feeling myself float
Haven't been so out of body in quite a while
Haven't felt so emotionless in quite a while
The ghost hanging over me is not mine
I smell your skin like basement musk
And the fertilizer on mushroom fields
Mr. 2004
When I was seven and you locked me in a dog cage
When I was seven and you made my body your jungle gym
It was the year of feeling sick to my stomach
Even when my food agreed with me
It was the year of going to the nurse every day in first period
You see,
Even second graders know what is and isn't supposed to happen to their bodies
Even when they don't have a name for it
Didn't have a name for it until I was fourteen
I told my guidance counselor every crevice your hands found
Every game you made me play on your body
He called it molestation
I had to excuse myself and *****
All over the white porcelain walls down the hall
He called my daddy
It was the first time I'd ever seen the man cry
I felt my body become a gun that was wielded against me
I could not hide from my own existence
So I became a ghost again.
Morphing into a spirit has become my superpower
I feel my body shaking
And I rise up to the ceiling
Watching myself self-destruct before my own eyes
Only offering a helpless hand
But, like Ebeneezer Scrooge to his past self
Remaining invisible
My body combusts under pressure
Crumbles with heat
I am my own remains
Dancing in the rubble
I feel my Winnie the Pooh shirt I wore to his house
Become a noose, tied tightly
I long to feel in my own body
So I look for feeling in someone else's
Anyone else's
I lie beneath his jutting hips
Moan the names of the ones I remember
They keep ******* back for more
Create for yourself an alter ego
Jane Doe?
That is the name they will brand to you
When they find your body
Still lifeless, with him still between your legs
Don't die, girl
Pick yourself up, girl
Stop being stupid, girl
Why, when I tell this struggle in a poem is it eloquent
But when I explain it to people in real life am I a ******* *****?
I lie in the dirt
Remember how to say my own name
Life reparative therapy, show me how to breathe
Form letter into thin air
Remember, excellence is relative
Remember, you are more excellent than this relative
Remember, you still exist, dear woman
Create a fist
And rise.
Jordan Frances Feb 2016
They call you "woman"
Though you probably are just shy
You are only about fourteen
When a nation is sewn into your womb
The white men, they will call you exotic
Call your brothers savages
As they pin you to a tree
And colonize the nest below your belly
They will imperialize your body
Annex your ******
Because they can
They are above you, after all
Yet you are still looking ahead
So eloquent while under attack
Why is **** suddenly beautiful
When it is a weapon of war?
Why do we normalize
The abuse of women with brown skin?
Not pain, just literature
So darling, I am so sorry
For what my brothers, for what my ancestors
Did to you
I am so sorry that the war on your body
Is why I am standing on your homeland
Though the skin of my relatives was not on American soil
Until two hundred years later
My blood was never shed on that dirt
Anyone who came here after you
Has hands covered in red
Flash forward three hundred years
These white men whose forefathers
Made a throne for their heirs inside of you
Are accusing other brown-skinned people
Of being terrorists
Of being rapists
Did we really forget that quickly?
They will wage war for my body
Because it lacks pigment
But they will ignore
That they are the ones committing the crime.
Every time a brown person is deported
Every time we vote for someone
Who spews bile when they speak
Every time we accuse immigrants
Of advancing our **** problem
We are slicing your children from your insides
Marvelous woman
Each nation you birthed is under attack
Every time we attack another nation
Our hands are covered in red.
Jordan Frances Feb 2016
We are the girls who took ourselves to school dances
Stood in the back corner eating stale popcorn
Talking **** about the "skinny *******"
Whose thigh gaps were the width of my wrist.
We are the girls who painted eyeliner beneath our irises like murals
And caked foundation onto our cracked porcelain faces
Asked to change our My Chemical Romance t-shirts
Because they were too edgy
Sorry, my pain isn't pretty
My teenaged angst isn't attractive enough for you
I won't be your success story
The one you gave a makeover
Just like they did on MTV
But even if I'm pretty in pink
I will still be pitted up against the popular girls
Girls like me don't stand a chance
Yet, still
Our bodies are made welcome mats for boys
Their eyes are invited to look us up and down
As if we are livestock or their next meal
Women become baseball cards
Passed between the clammy fingers of teen boys turned predators
The most valuable of us get treated nicely
As they violate our bodies
The uglier, cheaper we get
The more we are verbally attacked
Boys turn into men who don't know they are perpetrators
The way they get away with this
Is by turning our fingers from pointing at them
To pointing at each other
Patriarchy is very in this season
It creates entertainment for men
When girls become gladiators against one another
Remember, darling
In the game of the ancient Romans
Someone has to die.
The stakes get higher
As our names are replaced with numbers to be bid on
Is this high school or a horse race?
Watch the weakest among us fall prey
Can I get $75?
I see that hand!
The Queen Bee's own friends rip her from the highest seat
Plot twist!
Can I get $100?
We all fall down together
The crowd goes wild.
Can you imagine what would happen
If we rose together too?
We would crash this ****** up system
The economy would collapse
If we demanded to stand with our sisters
Our Muslim, Christian, black, white, Mexican, Asian, gay, straight, queer sisters
We could literally stop the world from spinning.
Studies show
That young, single women
Are currently the most potent political force in America
This is a call
To inject our poison into the veins of this government
Overhaul and ignite gasoline
And watch this game of setting women on fire
Go up in flames.
Feb 2016 · 552
Jordan Frances Feb 2016
According to Christian tradition
Lucifer was once God's favorite angel
Until he believed he could control things
A pride which turned disastrous.
Studies show many human addictions
Start this way too.
It started out as an almost healthy desire
To trim the extra fat from my bones
I was called disciplined
Told it was so good that I was finally taking care of myself
It went from eating healthy
To crunching numbers in the food I was eating
To stuffing myself like a taxidermist
To ripping every inch of stuffing out of my gut
I realize I have a problem
When I can't recognize myself in the mirror
When I can't eat a meal without going to the bathroom afterwards.
They never told me I was sick
Say "you look so good, honey
Have you lost weight?"
I tell them I'm suffering
Say "you don't look bulimic."
Every other girl who got my kind of sickness went to the hospital
I was told to smile
As they made an example of me
See, they thought everything I touched turned to gold
But it was only skin deep
When I stuck that finger out
To touch the back of my throat
It pulled a trigger.
My esophagus was rotting from the inside out
Am I still beautiful?
Will I still be beautiful
When the only thing left of my body
Is its ashes?
No matter what size my body is
There will always be a coffin small enough for it
My clavicle wants to catch my tears
Until I will not let myself cry
Because the brine in my eyes
Increases salt retention
Causing my face to swell and look pudgy
You're doing this to yourself anyway, darling
I evolve from a hawk to a dove
Go from dominating to meek, in the background
My wings are so small I cannot even fly well
Can't see food without feeling sick
Even now, I want
I want to scrape the back of my throat
Until my body releases its bile
I want to layer my inside walls with magazine covers
Say look what you could've been been!
But you failed
You were a bad bulimic
But at the time
You were never "good" enough to get into treatment
The backwards logic of an eating disorder
As it feeds itself with the subject's insecurities
It's like a token economy
I put coins in
My inadequacies solidified
And I become motivated to get skinny
Notice, I didn't say healthy.
Then, I remember
I am worth getting better
My veins, the nerves in my teeth
They nearly collapsed and gave up on me
But I will not give up on me
I will recover
This is not a health conscious habit
It is writing my obituary for me
I am recovering
I am progressing
This attempt to look like Reece Witherspoon gone awry
Is no more.
I am becoming myself again
Falling back in love with my thighs and my mind
I am healing, everyday
The devil in my brain
Will not hold me bound
I have created an equally powerful God against this
I keep praising her
It is my own name
She is my better self
My real self
And she is watching over me.
Feb 2016 · 663
Smiling into Submission
Jordan Frances Feb 2016
I tell my professor that I'm struggling with depression
He tells me he didn't notice.
Like it is something I am supposed to wear on my arm
If I am not covered in cuts or darkness
It's not happening.
I've learned
When someone feels like they don't have choices
They resort to the best way of surviving
That they know how to.
For me, that's faking it
Plastic face, ripped in half
I am tearing myself to shreds
Behind clear eyes.
What you don't see is the scars on my chest
That I get from scraping my skin with nails
Any perceived blemish must come off
I hide the holes with makeup and clothing
Dressed to impress.
What you don't see is the nearly infected patch of skin
Under my hairline
Because I can't stop reopening the wound
I keep it concealed.
My body is not a canvas on which I paint
My compulsive habits and depressive symptoms
For all to see.
I survive the best I can
And it almost comes off as if I'm thriving
Sometimes I forget there are days
When moving my limbs ***** the life out of me
I fool myself into thinking I'm fine
Until I get hit with a tidal wave of triggers
They always seem to appear in threes
I keep trying to arrange the broken pieces
So I look pretty
Isn't that the best thing that a woman can be anyway?
Or so we're taught.
I tell my professor
"I'm trying."
He thanks me for explaining things to him.
Submitting to my own guilt
For speaking of pain,
My mouth forms a small smile
After all, this is the way
I have been taught
To survive.
Feb 2016 · 431
Jordan Frances Feb 2016
My assailant does not know he is an abuser
He has been taught that women are fire
That ignite at the flicker of his match
Our voices are taught to roll back into our throats
Mine has even made a home for itself there.

He tells that he is sorry
Which feels like a band aid covering a bullet wound
It just keeps the the object lodged inside
Because I cannot tell him how "sorry"
Is a scathing knife against my neck
I cannot tell him I did not sleep for weeks
How my body lunged into a manic episode
For one of only two times ever.

I am no one else's fire now
I ignite only for myself
No one will incinerate inside of me
I am a Phoenix, rising from the flame
My ashes are more beautiful than my burning body
Set me on fire, and I will show how eloquent
Heated iron can be.

My mouth is a weapon now
It is not for your pleasure
My tongue, a slinging sword
Not to be smashed against yours
I have risen from the flames
And, as Maya Angelou so powerfully proclaims
Still I rise.
Feb 2016 · 760
Love at 50,000 Feet
Jordan Frances Feb 2016
My worth is not found
In thirty tablets of Tylenol Extra Strength
Chased by several shots of Everclear
Or inside someone else's body.
I used to immerse myself in this lifestyle
Until I realized I was going to waste
The feeling in my bones went missing
My desire to find that passion sank like an anchor
No search party, no Amber Alert
I was on my own
Missing an integral part of me.
I like bridges now
And I never used to.
I like flying now
I used to hate it.
But now, I look down
I don't want to plummet into the blanket of water beneath me
I don't want to hit the ground without living first.
My mind still takes me to the ruins of my past sometimes
It still holds me hostage with a gun laden with dark thoughts
But I will stay alive.
I have every reason to be dead
I have one reason to be here:
I deserve it.
Now, I drive over the George Washington Bridge
Keep my hands steady on the wheel
Sing my heart out to my favorite X Ambassadors song
Now, I sit strapped in on Delta airlines
The pilot talks about ascending
And I allow myself to rise.
He says,
"We are at fifty-thousand feet"
I smile
My spirit is now immersed in my own body
I let my tears wash over me like a monsoon
Because I am alive, darling
I do not want to jump, or fall this time
I deserve to stay soaring.
Feb 2016 · 393
Making Room
Jordan Frances Feb 2016
Just last week,
I started making room for the queer in me.
I've been rearranging the furniture
Redecorating the interior
All because I like women.
I have been taught to make room for things all my life
But those things have always tried to **** me
Like diets, exercise that always went a little bit too far
I need more empty space than fat
So they tell me to expand by shrinking my frame down?
Oh, and boys on the street who stitch my mouth shut
Because I have been told to create voids for the words "yes" and "sorry"
Now, the house is finally becoming mine
I am painting the walls the color I want them to be
No one is going to tell me my new living area is just a phase
I can finally hear my own voice and it is saying her name
Like a skipping CD
It can't stop
It doesn't want to
Lost somewhere between her amber eyes
And the ocean
There is an ocean between us dear
The world will try to make it permanent
But I want to close the gap
Between my body and my identity
I will make room in my life
For you.
Jordan Frances Feb 2016
Magazines, girlfriends, my mother
They always talk about closure
I have found that closure does not exist
Anywhere outside the labyrinth of mind

I have found that the only way
To get over my manipulative ex-boyfriend
Was to walk away without looking back
Was to learn to love myself unapologetically
And not long for anyone to do it for me

I never wanted closure after disclosing my assault
Never wanted an apology to flow
From his water-colored mouth
He was a family member
And I was a child
Cat and mouse
He made me forget that I am worth more
Than where his hands went eleven years back
And where he forced mine to go.

Closure can look like taking your clothes off
In front of a full length, 360 degree mirror
And saying
It can be thanking God for the bend in my knee
The curve of my hips
The bulge of my stomach
To thank Him for letting me live this long

After a suicide attempt
After an eating disorder
I should not be alive
But I am
Is that not closure enough?

See, closure is misleading
It is not the end of a stage in your life
But the moment you realize
You don't need anything else
To continue to live.
Inspired by Megan Falley's "For All Those Who Are Right Now Still Looking For Closure"
Feb 2016 · 603
Where I'm From
Jordan Frances Feb 2016
Where I'm from
Most kids have never heard the words
"We can't afford that."
Where I'm from
Is marked by men in business suits
Who always seem to work a little too late
Where I'm from
No love for my curves.
"Are you really going to eat that?"
My largeness makes me a target
Where I'm from
Closet bulimics
Binge drink and purge in the morning
Fakeness is the measure of success
Why do you think the popular girls all look the same anyway?
Where I'm from
They act like choosing between a salad and a burger
Is actually a ******* decision.
Where I'm from
****** problem
Know at least three people who lost the light in their eyes
Because the monster blew out the candle
Where I'm from
It might as well be snowing year round
The people are so cold and white
Where I'm from
Nearly every parent is a narcissist
Believes their child is the next Ronald Reagan
He is their idol, after all
Where I'm from
There is no "two-party system"
Republicans win every local election
Where I'm from
They value the sanctity of life
Until one of those lives is an unarmed person of color
Then their tongues become laced with haughtiness and gunpowder
Where I'm from
Makes excuses for bad cops
Welcome to Small Town, America
Where we decorate our racism with jewelry
That way, no one knows the extent of its ugliness
Where I'm from
I ask questions, get shot down
Like Trayvon's body as it lies like an arrow in the street
Why is his life worth less than mine?
Where I'm from
Thinks abortion is ******
If we care so much about babies
Why do we not care that Tamir Rice was twelve
When his last breath was forced from his collapsing lungs?
A baby.
Where I'm from
My privilege becomes a loaded gun
But I will not fire
I try to keep the safety on
Safety on
Because I know I have the potential
To act on the only way of existing
That I have been taught
Where I'm from
At least half my friends' parents were divorced
I was told lying to get ahead
Is better than speaking up
Here is my voice for those who have been silenced by oppression
Where I'm from
Has shown me you cannot outgrow your bloodline
I have betrayal in my background
This is who I was meant to be
Where I'm from
They taught me to pray
So I pray daily
That these hands with the potential to shoot
Will instead pave roads for people
Who cannot currently walk down the street
Without the fear of taking their last steps.
Inspired by Clementine von Radic's "My Hometown"
For Trayvon, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice and countless others.
Feb 2016 · 389
Russian Roulette
Jordan Frances Feb 2016
When your body shoots an earthquake through mine
You ask if I have daddy problems
I guess I am weaker than what you are used to
I have been the trigger on this gun
Playing Russian roulette with my own mind
Trying to keep a steady hand
But holding on so tightly
That the muscles in my wrist are plucked out
One by one, like strings on a guitar
See, you are used to *******
Pretty girls with scars carved on their chests
Not on their faces
Either way
It is wood all the same.
I don't answer your question
I merely make my body stiffer
Fearful that my own instincts
Might burn a hole in your skin
I have no safety on what I went through when I was younger
Between the bullets of my father's mistakes
And the abundant ammunition of the taste
Of my older cousin's skin
My body is now my weapon of choice
After being someone else's hostage
**** me back into your favorite position
And I will fire
Isn't it funny how my body becomes a gun again?
I work perfectly
Until the recoil knocks me to my knees
Before somebody new
I never knew shooting myself could make me numb
I always felt everything
Do I feel alive again?
I seem to keep missing my target
So I start to rethink my mission
What am I shooting for?
Feb 2016 · 448
Jordan Frances Feb 2016
My friends discuss the most effective ways
To inhale the dust of broken lives
Into their brains.
When I tell them
"I tried to **** myself several years ago"
With the same substances they try to get high on
The room goes silent
The response, it's never pretty.
It is about as beautiful as the river I wanted to drown in
About as messy as the blood stained sheets
I try to bleach them clean now
Maybe if I pour bleach into my mind
The thoughts will not be there anymore
I try to pretend it isn't real
That dangling from a bridge like a young girl's earring
Doesn't still sound appealing some days
But I am learning to swim with bricks tied to each ankle
I am learning to wake up
And not fear my own reflection
Because I am still here
And the survival makes my life
Even more beautiful than it would have been
Because I am in this moment
Even in the ones I wish would, like mist, dissipate into thin air
Sometimes I wish I could dissipate into thin air
When I no longer want to be
I remember that I must
When I no longer want to be
I remember the look on his empty face
When he removed himself from the story
And it had an abrupt ending
When I no longer want to be
I remember that I am
I remember that I am
I remember that I am here
That this moment loves me
Even when I don't love myself
That this moment is more beautiful
Than the way I decorated my body in scars
That I am a mosaic of broken glass
And soon the picture
Will be one that I want to look at
Soon the picture
Will reflect the love I have for myself
Even when I want to reject it
Love, do you recognize yourself?
You survived
You are still here.
Feb 2016 · 451
Narcissus's Daughter
Jordan Frances Feb 2016
If Narcissus had a daughter
She wouldn't look anything like his reflection
So he would fall out of love with her.
If her body was not that of the flower which he became
Thin, wispy, conventional
He would spit her out of his venomous mouth
She would become a drop in a bucket
Forget how to love herself
And expect someone to do it better
She will look into the eyes of her lover
See her father and approve
Because she does not know how to love differently
He will not teach her to accept herself
But rather push her into the pond
So he can be above her
Watch carefully, darling
Trauma is the only thing you ever knew
Why would you expect anything else?
When I watched my father become a flower
Wilted over the water
I wondered if he had always been that way
I wanted to rip the eggshells out of my imperfect feet
As I crushed them and cut myself
Instead of avoiding them altogether
For far too long
They have become a part of me
So damaged and frail
No wonder I hold them close to my chest.
My heart is no longer an eggshell
It is a diamond
Not easily cracked again
But I still love the poison of your lips
The way your hand causes tremors through my skin
As I break the surface of the water
Earthquake, dear
You give me earthquakes
After all,
If all I know is trauma
How could I expect anything else?
Feb 2016 · 2.0k
Train Tracks
Jordan Frances Feb 2016
I read my body like a road map
My ******* become mountains
My hips are flowing bodies of water
Here's to the not-so-lean lines
That tell me where the highways are
The railroad is the predominant form of transportation
In the quaint little town I depict on my skin
Train tracks cover inch by inch of me
From wrist to chest to thigh
Smothered in scars
That tell you where I've been
And where I hope to move away from.
Every good map has a starting point
For me, that was ****** abuse
Was verbal aggression
Was gas lighting
Then the extra distance in the middle
Was suicidal thoughts
Was bulimia
Was starting therapy
Was never being good enough for anyone
I'm not quite to where I want to be yet
But I'm progressing to the city of
I am good enough for me
Now I worship these train tracks
No more fresh blood
But I can kiss the scars
I find myself in love with my existence
Rather than ashamed of my past
I will handle my map like ancient scrolls
Like a golden altar
Not settling for any silly lover
Who does not exalt this sacred land, this body
And to love where I am going,
You must honor each and every place
I have been.
Feb 2016 · 403
Jordan Frances Feb 2016
It is really easy
To fall apart at the seams.
Have every stitch gradually come undone
Each piece of fabric falls out of place accordingly
It takes only the simplest of minds
To see the upholstery when its edges start to fray.
But you, darling, you were seamless
I never knew your face would soon crack
Before you became part of the earth's dense matter
The silk of your skin had been ripped apart from the inside out
Fresh blood stains the linen
They sew you back together
In textile the shape of a coffin
They get the measurements exactly right, love
The width of your hips
The length, from the first particle of a brown strand of your mop of hair
To the last atom of your toenail
I never thought depression would look this fashionable
If anyone could bring it back in style
It would be you
I never meant to leave you
Had I seen your unraveling
I would have taken my needle and thimble
Woven you into the stitch of my pocket
Taken you to my home
Though you remain in dreams
When the night is over
You must go back to your home
Home to the ground in which each nymph attends
To the beauty of your life
Because even in death
You are seamless, my dear
You are perfect
You are gone.
Jan 2016 · 355
The Message
Jordan Frances Jan 2016
When he writes you saying he's in recovery
You will want to correct him.
Every particle of your skin and bones
Will scream so loudly
That no one can hear it.
When he says he has not cut, done drugs or tried to off himself in three months
Your mind will become a tornado
At the thought of his mental illness being used as an excuse.
When the word sorry finally jumps off the page
It will dive directly down your throat
Blocking your airway
Because apologies don't cover it.
Apologies will never stop strangling me
Because they didn't stop the sleepless nights
The trigger
The relapse.
Apologies will barrel down my windpipe
Until I have nothing left to say
They steal the words from me
Like you did
When your hands wondered
And your tormenting persisted
What was I supposed to say
When I couldn't get a word in?
What was I supposed to say
When the only word I knew
Seemed to move through you like water
Ebbing and flowing, as you relished in it.
You didn't **** me
I don't know why that matters
As if your puncturing the wall protecting my core
Would have made my story more believable
Maybe they would have cared then.
I told you this
How I do not care how sorry you are
And you told me you do not care about my opinion.
Did you just want me to remember you?
Well, darling, my name is survivor
Taste it like a bitter shot of whiskey
Wear it like a scar bound to your chest
Because I have removed you
From mine.
Jordan Frances Jan 2016
Hello, old friend
I am in a haunted house
Banging on the ceiling
Breaking glass walls that suffocate me
The shards pierce me beautifully
An elegant ribbon of blood tangles around my body
Like a kitten, I watch as I unravel
Unable to escape as you watch me bleed out.

Different night, same dream again
I want to know if someone can deliver me
Bitter venom that can save my sanity
The same principle that if you **** on a jellyfish sting
It hurts less
Desperate times call for desperate poison and muck
Baby, could that be your kiss?

I wake up, and remember
They think I might have Stockholm Syndrome
For everyone that abused me, it seems
I have the utmost respect for
And I love them every day with all of my being.

The waves of my love will not run dry
Eleven years after being molested
I still draw your name on my tongue
Sing you rather than spit you
Sweet harmony
You have a girlfriend now
And she looks an awful lot like me
At least that's what I have discovered by stalking your Facebook page
Was I that good that you modeled her after me?
Do you even remember?

You visit me in my dreams
My own pillow jumps from my bed to smother my face
I leave purple sticky drool marks on my arm
A bruise for every time I am in that glass house
I've seen you take me captive
I've seen you hold me in every position imaginable
I've seen you have a baby girl
And her eyes look just like yours
All from a distance
But none of its real
This is no part of my molecular makeup
As my atoms do not collide with yours
I am a fish, swimming through air
I cannot breathe because I am being taught how to drown elegantly
Which begs the question:
Did it ever really happen at all?
Did I ever really happen at all?

Sincerely, me
The same one whose face may have traveled below your belt
Who you may have violated
I wish you had strangled me with that belt at that very moment

PS: I swear I won't be angry, darling
Just please tell me
What I need to know to sleep soundly again
After all,
You are the only one who remembers
Jan 2016 · 819
Jordan Frances Jan 2016
Little girl, stop shaking
Your wounds are not the kind that will heal in time
You have predator in your blood
And abuser in your skin
Your antibodies cannot save you
When your body wages war against itself
The ****, it will not clot the way it is supposed to
As you grow older, the features come in
Your eyes look more and more
Like your Pop Pop's
Your face looks more and more
Like your father's
Your mouth tastes more and more
Like your older cousin's
After all, you would know
What his skin tastes like
You try to scrub it off
Causing the wound to reopen
Scrape the scab away
But you, beautiful girl
You are not your bloodline, your birthright
You are not destined to be angry and cold
Your sentence is not the dungeon
Is not death
Intelligent woman
You will hold in your hand the power of ten thousand men
You will wear the teeth from your ******* relative
Like pearls around your neck
You will paint your nails with the blood of your toxic family
Your past will not mute your scream
Your childhood will not filter your radiance
You, warrior, will rise up to be queen.
Jan 2016 · 606
Jordan Frances Jan 2016
My second semester of college
My sociology professor tells us not to qualify our input
Because women are socialized to be sorry.
My voice has been used against me
Taught the only things it is good for
Is saying "yes" and "I apologize"
We are taught to cater to a man's state of being
And his state in general
Why are we called patriots?
Because our existence contributes to the patriarchy.
Our very lives are designed to entertain the male psyche
We are the pits of water for the buffalo to come to
Indulge in
Drain of our substance for his convenience.
We become too weak to fight
As "meninists" quote the Bible
Saying we are not meant to be equal
But when their seventh grade knowledge of quack biology
Is proved to be bad science time and time again
Will anyone fight to liberate us?
My second semester of college
My New Testament professor
Tells us the biblical interpretation of gender inequality
Is bad reading.
What if God is woman?
Would this deity have her body torn from the towers of heaven
Would she be called a ***** for smiting the world
With a great flood?
If she is woman
There are many more floods to come.
We eat the body of Christ at communion
If God is woman
Her body will be eaten by vultures every day.
We stand, we recite as we have been so kindly instructed
"This is my body
Given for you."
Jordan Frances Jan 2016
When you remember what happened to you as a child,
Ignore it.
It probably doesn't mean much anyway
After all,
You're probably just using it as an excuse to get away with ******
You're probably just making it up for attention.

When a boy fondles you in your church boiler room,
Do not tell anyone.
Since you froze up
Did not say no
The best case scenario
Is that they will make you "talk it out"
And tell you it is your Christian duty to forgive him
The worst case scenario
Is that your formerly mutual friends will brand a scarlet letter to your chest
And you make it your personal mission to live up to that label.

If you have *** before marriage,
Do not let anyone find out.
If you have *** with multiple people before marriage,
Hide it under lock and key.
If you have casual *** with multiple people before marriage,
You can forget about going to heaven.

When you have become the perfect liar and *****,
Do not get assaulted.
You know what I said about no one believing you?
Increase that times one hundred thousand.
The only difference is this time
Not even the ones you love the most
Will take you seriously.
You'll get your morning dosage
Of ****-shaming
And "what were you wearing?"
The nightly pill shoved down your throat
"He was in a bad place."

When he texts you four months later
Saying he hasn't tried to **** himself in quite a while
When you read the word "sorry" in a public bathroom
Say you're okay.
Do not say you are bulimic
And that where his hands went that night
Or the text messages that made you fear for your safety
Had anything to do with your own perfectly calculated mental breakdown.

When your church talks about purity,
Nod like the rest of the robots.
Smile, because you are their concrete example
Of who not to become.
Why do they care more about the *** you have
Than the *** that was forced upon you?
They say trauma has a stronger link to addiction
Than obesity does to diabetes
Do they ever stop to wonder
If just maybe, I am addicted to everything I hate?
They will tell me I have nothing new to add to the discussion
So they can silence me
But I have my story
A story that is mine and I control
The ending.
Jan 2016 · 553
Milk + Honey
Jordan Frances Jan 2016
To grow up fat is to go without
I do not gorge myself on compliments
But rather savor the taste of hearing my mother say
How only stick-thin people can wear bikinis
As if fat people have needles instead of skin
That stab those who stare at our bareness
As if it wasn't a reflection of her own self-image.

To grow up fat is to go without
I give my body
I leave no trace
When I was sexually assaulted by a date,
No one believed me.
Tell me I should be happy to have someone who wants me
Tell me I love the attention
Because when I stare into the water at my reflection
And see his hands covering my face
Still love the attention.

To grow up fat is to go without
The word ugly becomes my name
It is repeated so frequently that I forget my own
I speak, and somehow it shocks them
A scapegoat like me can breathe intelligence
Can be brilliant, ambitious

To grow up fat is to go without
We, we are told we must venture to the land of milk and honey
As our words become bland
And our souls become sweet
Both liquidized into a seamless mold where we look thin
We go with our bodies wide open
As others feast on our flesh
****** and raw
All give, no take
Yet we continue to hear about our laziness.

To grow up fat is to go without
Because I binge on self-confidence
I get called a ***** and a ****
When I am starving, I am weak
But when I am not weak, I am arrogant
When I am not weak, I am nothing
The world fosters my dependence
For when I learn I no longer need to hide my body
I sabotage the machine.

To grow up fat is to go without
The expectation of being worthy
To grow up fat is to learn
How to find your worth alone.
Dec 2015 · 2.6k
Extreme Fetish
Jordan Frances Dec 2015
I live my life in extremes
Polar opposites attract in the center of my soul
And for some reason, living on opposite ends
Seems to be a fashion trend
I am not the "I made out with every girl in my college sorority
So now I'm bisexual" type of queer
Not to out-and-proud vomiting rainbows type of bisexuality
I am the bisexuality that gets erased
The eighth grade girl who, when she told her first boyfriend she was queer,
He told her she was over dramatic and crazy.
I am the bisexuality that gets oppressed
Because I am confined to the walls of a shrinking closet
Or is it expanding?
I have lost my sense of left or right
Up or down
Yes or no.
I am not your manic pixie dream girl type of bipolar
Not the girl who needs saving from her mental illness
Not drowning.
I am the bipolar disorder that becomes overwhelming
The depression that chains me to my bed in the morning
The hypomania that seems euphoric, but is never happy
The grey area, the lone horizon, the empty space in the middle
Seems like something I drive through over the speed limit
Every day of my life.
While my extremes do not look good on your favorite actress
They look beautiful on me.
Not an outfit I can strip down when it goes out of style
Not a channel I can change when it is not appealing anymore
But I will learn to love my fluctuations
My mood pendulum
My love pendulum
I am swinging from state to state
But at least I am flying
Instead of falling.
Dec 2015 · 534
Jordan Frances Dec 2015
When you are young
They tell you to guard your heart
Fear the boy who will put it through the shredder
Stomp on it
Spit in it
But they do not tell you to fear
The man who thinks no means go harder
Move faster
Scream louder
It seems like your fear is supposed to stop at fifteen
Until you learn that guarding your heart means guarding your body
Until you learn not to walk alone at night
Even though there is a better chance you will be ***** by a friend
Than a stranger
This is not a "protect yourself because you are weak" poem
Since when has protecting yourself worked anyway?
No, you are strong
Our bodies are turn into fists that punch through the drywall
As he throws you around, you curl up into yourself
This is not a "protect ourselves because we are weak" poem
Since when has protecting ourselves worked anyway?
No, we are strong
I become the body hovering above your ghost
As he stops briefly but continues to shove himself inside of me
This is not an "all men are evil" poem
Since when was this conversation about that anyway?
No, you are good
You are the phone call at four AM
You are the "can I do anything to help you?"
You are the "it isn't your fault"
My heart did not break because of emotional teenage angst
It broke because a man knew he could snap my body in half
It broke because she was told she was not credible
It broke because there will always be a man
Who holds my power in the very thread of his being
And he knows the consequences will be minimal.
When you are young,
They will tell you to guard your heart
Rip yourself open
Fight the system which allows this to happen
Go before the judge and let yourself reveal the most intimate parts of this misogynistic
This oppressive
This **** culture
Fully exposed.
Jordan Frances Dec 2015
The first time I knew I was fat I was five
When you told me not to eat the other half of my food
Because it would make me bigger
As if I was large to begin with
A perfectly normal, healthy, happy child
Saw the light flicker in her eyes
And eventually, burn out.
From then on, you kept attempting to be my nutritionist
Where you had no place to do so.
I kept learning to restrain myself
To eat when I was hungry
But when I was hungry, I was told not to eat
I kept wandering around within myself
A stray dog, a lost thought
The candle in my mind never stayed long
Somehow, you thought shaming me would help my hips to stop protruding into the atmosphere
Would help me shrink wrap my body
To become dust, like everyone else in our thin town
Thin high school
Thin media.
When I fell in love with those hips, those thighs, that stomach
I was told to become a ghost again
Even in the wake of my eating disorder.
What no one tells you about shame
Is that the end goal is never attainable
It's like helping someone breathe
By suffocating them
It's like teaching someone to swim
By drowning them
You told me it was never about appearance
I believed you
Until you made a comment about self-mutilation after I got an ear piercing
Knowing I used to cut myself.
Making me think of all that was said and done
Since I was five years old
When you bought me gifts if I lost a certain amount of weight
When you insulted my hair, my clothes, my makeup
I learned that my body
Was nothing but a canvas
That I was supposed to erase the picture if you didn't like it
And that I was nothing by my body.
I now have a plan to get healthy
But I don't intend on telling you what it is
Because it has nothing to do with weight loss
And you will simply undermine it
As you undermine me
Every time you tell me I will fail.
You told me you did not want me to be like you
Since you let yourself go
So I keep sinking
But at least at the bottom of the ocean, dad
I can drown out the chance
That I will ever be like you.
Dec 2015 · 875
Broken Record
Jordan Frances Dec 2015
When the girls at my Christian college find out I am pansexual
They ask me
What Biblical evidence I have to back up the righteousness
Of same-*** relationships
Like it is a fact out of a textbook
That my love for people is wrong
Same old hymn, sing it again
You're sick of getting rejected
Same old hymn, sing it again
I love you but I don't support your lifestyle
Same old hymn, sing it again
Don't date her, she'll cheat on you anyway
We keep harmonizing to the chorus:
Love the sinner, hate the sin
Love the sinner, hate the sin
Hate who you are, love who you should be
When they tell me pansexual people only exist because it is trendy
That my love for a woman is a fallacy
I love who I love when it goes out of style
Why are we only focused on LGBTQ
When there is love that protrudes beyond those limiting letters?
Never have I seen one pan person on a panel
Speaking about their story
Speaking about their pain
As if they are the only version of this record
Somewhere, another queer person loses a job
Holds a silver bullet to the temple
Scratch that
Society, our construct of queer, the Church
Places the weapon at the scene of the crime
This is no longer a suicide
As we can suspect fowl play.
Every time this happens
My knees become knobs on a radio
My brain, a button
My body switches channels
Begging, pleading, screaming to sing
A different melody.
Dec 2015 · 444
Butcher and the Fish
Jordan Frances Dec 2015
When I was eight I used to ask my mom
Why daddy was so mean to me
She would tell me to talk to him about it.
I remember throwing up
Like the bones of my guilt were piercing my throat
Like I had taken one too many cookies from the forbidden jar
Like I was doing something I wasn't supposed to
Something bad.
The one time I did talk to him
I pulled the strings of my heart's corset loose
And let him see the emptiness left there
He yelled at me again, making me cry.
I always ask myself if I would rather have divorced parents
Or a parent who guts me like a dead fish daily
Even after many apologies
I lay naked and bruised
Upon the lies I tell myself to stay sane.
I tell myself he doesn't know the impact of his words
Swift blow to the belly
Swift blow to the mind.
I tell myself he will get better when I come home from school
Until he finds out I am sharing skin to a girl
Until he finds out where my skin has been.
I tell myself none of it matters
But I feel guilty when he brings up my weight
But I feel guilty when I take my medication behind his back.
I feel like a shadow of his sins
And a ghost of his future
Lurking in the shadows
As he tells me the same things everyday
And I wilt silently in his suffocating grasp
Forever lonely,
Forever alone.
When I was eighteen, my dad told me he was sorry
For all the years he hung my by the noose of comments about my appearance.
I thought he meant it and I forgave him
I should have known better than to trust the butcher.
Nov 2015 · 1.4k
Jordan Frances Nov 2015
Dear Queen Jezebel,
Your name has fallen through the thickets of white male history
But I think you are painted unfairly.
For you were a strong female character
In a time when they were frowned upon.
No man would tell you what to do
You held power in your strong wrists
In your condescending smile
In your waterfall hips.
You were brutal
But you you showed the world that you would not be messed with
You were not merely valuable for your ***
For your ability to pop out children.
You were revolutionary
You installed fear in the men who did everything they could
To cut you to pieces.
Maybe we are not too different
As my ex-boyfriend repeatedly told me to shut my feminist mouth
And have *** with him.
History repeatedly ****** you
Paints you as a *** symbol
Rather than a strategic businesswoman and monarch.
You knew what you were doing
And I follow your lead
They will never love us
We, Jezebel, are for them to make pets out of
We are here to show them
How the mighty
Have fallen.
Oct 2015 · 799
Phone Call
Jordan Frances Oct 2015
Hi Ma, it's me
Me, equivalent to the extra ten pounds
That have molded so perfectly to round out my hips and belly.
Me, equivalent to everything society wants to shut out
Fat, free, female.
Me, becoming ever so used to flashing my intelligence
Instead of the skin everyone either wants to see too much of
Or encourages me to hide.
No...everything's alright
Everything, like the fact that my girl friends and I
Pass around stories of ****** abuse and harassment over tea.
Everything, like being told my worth is based on
How many men I have slept with.
Everything, like being told I should feel repentant
For no longer being a ******.
Okay, talk to you later.
I won't talk to you about
How I have no interest in the "ring by spring" phenomenon.
I won't talk to you about
How, at a Christian school, LGBTQ+ students are given a dwindling voice
As if the fire in their words will burn down a failing hierarchy.
I won't talk to you about
How hard it is to make anyone take me as seriously
As they do my male friends
Same opinions, same demeanor, different parts.
I love you
Love is supposed to be unconditional
So why am I encouraged to work so viciously to earn it
As if there is not enough to go around?
Love is supposed to benefit both parties
So why, as a woman, do I still get treated like my partner's property
As it is still custom for a father to give his daughter away to another man?
Love is supposed to be understanding
So why are **** victims still chastised by society
If they appreciate a trigger warning?
Oct 2015 · 430
Face the Music
Jordan Frances Oct 2015
To the woman who said
"The reason we have seen a rise in mental illness over the past fifty years
Is because of how we choose to view situations."
As if the pessimism I inherited from generations of pluralist forward thinkers
Has lead to the shattering of my carefully composed facade
To the way I burn myself at the stake everyday
Because I feel my flesh scorching beneath me
To the way I wrestle with my own mind
Late into the night
Contemplating if ending my life would make the bitterness I pretend not to taste
Any sweeter
To the way I hate that I do this
So I am a ball of clay
Becoming more and more compact with self-destructive energy
To the way I do not want to die
But want to stop suffering
Want to stop having images of people like earrings dangling off the edge of bridges
That haunt me in my slumber
So sleep becomes scarce
I would never choose to live with the 4 AM panic attacks
The touch that seers my skin
The crippling bouts of depression
The highs that are never happy
But I hold myself to a higher standard
Than believing this is self-imposed
If I could choose to change this
I would in a moment
But until it passes
I will deal with it accordingly
I will wake up and face the music
Rush in headfirst singing
Because I have stopped blaming myself for the things I cannot change
But can largely control
And I think it's time this world does the same.
Oct 2015 · 616
Safe and Sound
Jordan Frances Oct 2015
They tell you to eat from the hand that hits you
The particles of your soft cheek smashing through the atmosphere
The first time I felt this in public
I was fifteen
Two drunk men leaned over the counter
At my first job, they told me explicitly
How they would twist and contort my body
To please their selfish desires.
Room full of customers and coworkers
Managers who watched this happen
And still told me I was moving too slowly
These men wanted me to move faster, too
Wrap my hips around their waste
Submit to the items they wanted to spank me with
But I couldn't move fast enough
I went to the back of the store and cried.

They tell you to eat from the hand that hits you
Growing up I knew a girl
Whose boyfriend repeatedly came back for her
Thrusting his dark matter into her bones
Even when she said no
Throwing her around like a rag doll
Until she couldn't take it anymore
And decided to try throwing herself off a bridge instead
Everyone at school called her crazy
Even though she was being gutted of her existence
From the inside out.
Society said
All she was good for was ******* and blowing smoke
That she let a man break her body in half
And define exactly who she was.

They tell you to eat from the hand that hits you
You look into yourself and wonder
Why you can't see the light that used make your eyes lanterns.
We're taught that we must have perfectly chiseled bodies
To be welcome mats for men to slap their stamp of approval
Yet if they walk all over you
You are nothing.
When you're thirteen
Your father tells to stop dressing like a ****
He doesn't consider
That no matter how you dress
Men will look at you like you're a buffet
Ready to eaten.
When you're sixteen
Someone defines your worth by the absence of your virginity
They don't consider
That you someone took your innocence long before you made the conscious choice
To let someone else see the crevices of your body and spirit.
When you're twenty
Your friend tells you that you were asking for it
Because you got carried away with a drink in hand
That alcohol didn't make them do what they did
This is sexism
Because no one ever asks him "what were you wearing?"

They tell you to eat from the hand that hits you
Because we're teaching our girls wrong
Because we're not teaching our boys at all
These girls become women who believe their worth
Hinges on their ****** experience
Hinges on their beauty
Hinges on some man
They're socially designed to fall in love with.
They're told that he's responsible for holding the door for them
But if he enters her body with her consent
That's her responsibility
When will we stop teaching women
That they should expect to be violated
That they should expect to be silenced
That they need to be protected
Because the same men who believe they can **** a woman
And get away with it
Are the same ones who want to keep them
Safe and sound.
Sep 2015 · 1.0k
Jordan Frances Sep 2015
It dies.
Flower crushed between sweaty fingers
My shaking palms reach out to you
I cannot escape
A waterfall pulls me into this scenescape
So I let it wash my fear away.
I feel her lips pressing down on mine
Her scent is rose water and tangerine
I kissed a woman
Or she kissed me?
I kissed a woman
Looking up, I feel the knots within my gut
My belly does not approve of some online romance
My belly does not approve of romance, period
That's why we keep it casual
And I have other men around
Like scarves to flaunt for different occasions
But the part they leave out
Maybe intentionally
Is that I only engage in relationships
Where I have complete control.
And so the flower between sweaty fingers wilts
It dies.
They all do
Because I grasp them too tightly.
Sep 2015 · 1.9k
Dear Society
Jordan Frances Sep 2015
Dear society,
I have a gut!
It's where I keep all the men I eat
From my SJW rampages
You tell me to slim down
To relax
To let go.

But I cannot let go
That my friend was date ***** at a party
By the same boy who abused his ex girlfriend so badly
She tried to **** herself
And yet, he walks free.
See, you tell him as long as he does this behind closed doors
It is acceptable

I will not stand down and watch this happen
I cannot let go
That four separate occasions in my life
A man did not listen to my pleads
"No" does not mean try harder
"No" does not mean convince me
"No" does not mean pretend you didn't hear me
"No" means back the *******!
Staying silent and catatonic means back the *******!
Crying and shaking still mean back the *******!

So now we pull the strings tighter
Lace up my poised facade
But I refuse to do it anymore
I refuse to submit to you, sweet society,
To the smoke and mirrors that allows men to build up their egos so much so
That when someone says they do not want to have *** with you
Suddenly, oh easily damaged masculinity, you are banished to an awful land called the "friend zone"
No one owes them anything
And we wonder why ****** violence is so prevalent on college campuses
In the workforce
In the military

I now **** the gun up
Pull the trigger
Shoot myself in between their stacks of bills
Their comfortable place in the world
And you, sweet society,
Will never liberate me
As you claim
The way I have freed myself.
Sep 2015 · 687
Suicide Mission
Jordan Frances Sep 2015
We all have a different story.
White male, sophomore says
His father told him all **** should be shot on site
So these words continue to constrict his neck like a noose
Making it impossible for him to breathe
Giving him no room to live
Like the conversion camp he was sent to over and over again
It leaves cuts that have yet to turn into scars.

We all have a different story.
White female, junior tells
How the emails kept popping up on her screen
Like unwanted blemishes that she could scrape off
One by one.
Church members chastising her
Because their favorite boy
Had just been accused of thrusting the life out of her
She is covered in "are you sure you weren't asking for it?"
She's sure.
Blood on her hands that spells out the word ****
And she lathers her body
Drowns herself in it
Until an unassuming girl is able to be her life preserver
But they still have to pretend to be
"Just friends"

We all have a different story.
So used to hearing
"You can't love both."
So used to hearing
"You can't even love yourself."
Now I live in a world
Where man, woman, no gender can love me
Because I make myself too prickly to touch
Whenever someone comes too close
I turn into a cactus
Because how could anyone possibly love someone
Who has been taken advantage so many times
That she cannot find it in her heart
To make love to someone
She has *** with them
But there is no love
But there is no passion at all.

We all have a different story.
Being queer in an evangelical community
Is like being raw meat
In a dog house.
They can smell you from a mile away
Ready for the ****
Do not stab your knife into me
In the kindest way you can think of
By telling me
"I'll pray for you."
Do not pour your poison into my body
By saying
"God loves the sinner but hates the sin."
My existence is no accident
My queerness is not my choice
You wonder why so many
Lesbian gay bisexual transgender questioning youth
Abandon the church?
It is not because of God
It is because these congregations keep playing God
This is the same **** story.
Do you know how hard it is the find an accepting church community?
It is a suicide mission
As I walk into the congregation
Arms open, eyes closed
Waiting to be embraced
Or shot on site.
Sep 2015 · 769
Nameless, Faceless
Jordan Frances Sep 2015
I feel my flesh move rivers
Staring down the clammy skin on my stomach
Looking into the face of a stranger
Body count?
Maybe four
I don't remember exactly
I put my legs up and let his body move like clockwork
It is the easiest position for me to detach
As far as I know, I keep watching the same movie
Man, in front of me
Man, ****** on
Man, inside of me
That is the moment I close my eyes
And stop watching.
That is the moment my PTSD tells me
I am not in control anymore
That is the moment I hold my breath
Dig my nails into his wrist
His throat
His eyes
So he will stop looking at me like that
So the world will stop looking at me like that
Sleeping with guys whose names you cannot remember
Makes you a **** these days
But blacking out does not always come from drinking.
He gets off
And rolls you to the bed of grass next door
He says
"That was fun."
You say
"Until next time."
And walk into the future
Onto the next one
Nameless, faceless
Leaving you
Naked, alone.
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