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marianne Nov 14
Steeped in the tea of my mother’s ****
a weak blend of oxygen, anxiety and grief
dregs reused, until we are both
spent

Tough cut tenderized by my fathers
no brine in the house, so use brute force instead
pummelled into submission, until I
tear

Simmering in the holy water of the church
a recipe older than Salem, uses fear as its base
and shame, until I am
nothing

It’s a ******* wonder I haven’t been swallowed whole
by the big bad wolf
or despair, though I’ve come close

Time to eat the cook
and burn the recipe
Because anger is medicine
It rumbles and roars
The rage I harbor in my bones
Unsung song of contention
Bitter and bilious in my mouth
Because when I tried to speak,
nobody was listening

Boundries of consent are drawn at home
And maintained before being extended
To a world where Xanthippe is a slur
Between giving up a career and giving in to a creep
There isn't much of an option

Shame is the best weapon after fear
In the arsenal of patriarchy
Ammo of choice for its sari draped agents
To keep young women in line lest they
Sprout a tongue or mind of their own

Decades of silence has fed the fire of rage
Licking and moulding my contours
Till I turn into Jael yielding pen
Refusing to be a collateral any longer, ready
To nail Sisera, with or without a Barak to celebrate
elle Oct 6
the world folded in front of me when Collins said, "Nevertheless"

TO claim womanhood and 'championing' the rights of those left
lifeless, left
behind
left to give birth without choice, to rot inside

and at the turn of a comma, disregard your
people. your state. your country(wo)mens' fate.

to turn a key
to throw your sword to him,

a ******

there is a ****** in the highest court of the land
it is not 1514

on TODAY of ALL DAYS
when the streets are teeming
with rage and age-old wounds,
re-opened, gushing
with truth for you.
we bellow our truth for evidence. we are living PROOF FOR YOU.

when half of the world is screaming, from their front lawns
classrooms, desk jobs
to the ruling class, we
p l e a d
write letters, leave voicemails,
wait outside til they return,
get arrested, demoralized just trying to get a word

So, we wait
cross-armed
Patience, is the strategy they say
"We’ll get to you one day! You chose us, and it’s our duty to listen!"
they say,

well look at where it’s brought us today
TODAY
a ****** is our president
two rapists on the court of courts
they run our media outlets, they pay off the people in charge
and pay off their victims to silence us
all

and here we stand
in our 'Homeland'
survivors of the daily toil, just trying to eat, to make a safe home
we shift and pay our way through this unending maze

and WE ARE THE ONES WHO ARE *****
we are walking wounds
and I do not feel safe
if this is home i want to GO
very far away.

We are silenced, our voices drown out.
We are beaten in our own homes.
Our opinions are unheard or unwanted. Our lives are unwarranted.
WE live and breathe this unjust air.

This is not when men had birthright to the land and a hand of a wife
this is not when black men were a fraction of a person
this is now
and it is the same.

when rich men have the birthright
to the key to our tomorrows
our childrens' and our childrens' children
will suffer
this system has us suspended

merely a change of scenery
but not one rule has changed,
fundamentally, it is clear to me
we live a rigged game.
Fifty-percent illusion at any given time.
Your unintended muse will plead 'not guilty' to the crime
Of snatching back the quill and reshaping every line
into the role she wished to play
-- it seems the choice was never mine --

but the boy with the weighted wedding ring,
the self-appointed jury of the south;
him sheepish at the door with roses,
and the brute who owns this house.

Was it feminine mystique or was I crystal clear
while you blocked your ears and pretended not to hear?

A three-act structured tragedy.
All archetypes assigned.
"We've had this date since the beginning" --
if the part must be mine to play,
it is in my hands to manipulate.
Direct your blame to those who cast the roles.

Torn petticoat, blue piano;
flattered by the dimming glow --
oh, to be glossy pink and gold!
A trophy bride. A victor's prize.
(I snap awake and still see his eyes --
that ego swells him thrice my size --
with bruising force, he parts my thighs.)

Was it hysteria - madness? - or was I crystal clear
while you blocked your ears and pretended not to hear?

My fate was written for me,
in the frontal lobes of those who came before me:
down that narrative route, all bumps and troughs -- desire!
Fragments of an old Rossetti poem... o, vanity of vanities... the streetcar rattles and groans.
self-indulgent b-side to the prior poem 'i, ophelia'; honing in on blanche dubois (a streetcar named desire). excuse the rhymes, it's been a while.
elle Sep 26
they still reek of stale smoke

like the golf-green front porch of this widow’s home
locked,
years of promises enclosed.

And the dead men
they’d lined up all day
one by one
just to pass through

And when the last one has left, like an alley to death
your body is but
a cave

holy in its’ loneliness

no man’s words reverberating off
the walls inside your brain.

when your body stops being a hallway

no longer weighing their heavy thoughts, their pending deaths
all their could be’s making your worried skin
ripe with sweat

you pull grief out of yourself
like weeds,
ripped from their garden-beds.

love
all wrapped up, lifeless
spun, in their careful webs


when finally, they shut themselves in their coffins

and your death guilt has dulled

your dreams will condemn
all the dead men
as you watch them shovel dirt
all night to
bury themselves
side by side
As women we are conditioned to love what breaks us
Because unconditional love isn’t a skill to be cultivated,
It’s an expectation we so painfully fill.

As women we are told that there is meaning in our silence.
That our beauty lies within what stays untold,
That our voices limit our inherent value.

As women we must mold ourselves
Into one of a hundred cookie cutter
Versions of the same person that
We deem an acceptable form of femininity.
They tell us that this is our identity
When really it’s a way to make ourselves
Palatable.

As women we must apologize for conformity
And we must apologize for breaking away.
The female population lacks the luxury
Of confidence without judgement
Because we fear it won’t make us as simple.

As women we are tailored to please the world.
The burden we carry aches with all of the moments
We wish we could have done something different and didn’t.
I am tired of the rules.
I am tired of the chains.
This is more political than my poems usually are but whatever
You'll come around,
soon, realize

This is not pain you are getting
for refusing me pleasure

This a pleasure I am giving,
so you don't refuse MY pain.
Laura Aug 24
It's difficult to be pretty in this world
Because when you're pretty
You get *****
Because men don't know how to control themselves
Because when you're a man
You don't have to
Men are commended
For impregnating women
And being masculine rapists
Women are shamed
For getting pregnant
And being *****
Women were asking for it
Women should have known better
Women are supposed to be prepared
Nobody tells men not to ****
We hope it's common sense
But then we don't reprimand them
Because boys will be boys
But why can't boys be nice boys
And keep their hands to themselves
Stop hurting young women
Who really don't want to be *****
I don't know why
Men keep ****** women
It isn't fun
Nobody is asking for it
The definition of ****
Is *** that isn't asked for
But guys do it anyway
Because women are too afraid
To speak up
To live in this world
Ruled by ****** men
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