Welcome to the council of Jezebel,
here are your sisters, your not-quite nuns
who tell you of false modesty,
and how easy it is to strip yourself to the bone.
You’ll be staying here for a long time
because nobody else wants you -
that’s okay, we’ll teach you how to want you
without manipulation or coercion.
We meet on Saturday nights,
and there’s all the red wine you can drink,
you can gorge yourself on bread
and we’ll call the act of gaining weight beautiful;
we’ll teach you that it’s self-preservation
to deny desirability for fulfilment.
You have your own room in this cloister,
and you’ll never have to sleep on the floor again.
We have a library, and a soft workshop
where you can take apart all of your broken pieces
and learn that you’re not a machine
and can live without them.
If you want to leave, you may,
but nobody has ever done that
so we’re not sure how to deal with regression,
but we do not fear it -
we never fear what we do not understand
because we are feminine beings designed to learn.
The council has no rules - we live free,
no leaves covering our bodies as shameful.
We paint each other using berries and apples,
and at night, when all of the stars have nowhere to guide us,
we sing like free mockingbirds,
revelling in the liberty of what we have to ridicule.
From a collection of poetry I wrote for a creative writing portfolio in second year of university, titled 'New Rugged Cross'.