Buoy

Buoy

It’s a swimming costume in the bath

kind of day.

It’s a child

pressing for privacy.

It’s the creeping fingers

crawling under your skin

in silent scorn.

It’s reading between the lines

between the lines

between the lines.

It’s force

that’s full body

but weak

like cheap shampoo.

It’s tears

mixing with a torrential shower

drowning your screams

for what feels like

fifty thousand hours.

It’s the trembling

no amount of layers

can cure.

It’s terror

without even needing

to open the door.

Upgrade

Upgrade

Society these days

is always out

to sell you something;

shoving TV packages

down your throat

faster than you can

find the remote

to mute the sales jargon

for the sixty pound a month ‘bargain’

and they don’t even stop to listen

to you explain

you don’t own a TV.

People these days

are always out

to sell you something;

eager to compare themselves

to models not here anymore

you might not cold call me

but you still knock door to door

asking to be invited in

to feed me statistics

of how our potential partnership

could earn me so much more

whilst your boots

walk in mud

that now covers my floor.

But for all these selling tactics

I think I’d rather stay poor,

for every material upgrade leaves me

just as faulty as the one before.

Man Up

Man Up

I have worked with women

who love their men

even

as his hands grip her throat

and he gloats,

whilst watching her choke,

over how she takes him back

by the time he counts to ten.

I have seen the courage of women

who leave their men

alone

with pregnant belly and two children

in a land of words foreign,

she prays I answer my phone

and find her a safe home

where he’ll never touch them again.

I have felt the pain of women

caused by a system

that didn’t lock up their men;

he only raped her yesterday

and she tells me she’s okay

but the tears spilling down her cheeks

give her fear away

as a lack of evidence gave him his freedom.

Here I stand as a woman

standing with women

who are stood on by men.

All convinced that they knew them,

so now don’t all go thinking

that it could never happen

or you’d never let yourself

be in that situation

because we’re all in motion

on a spectrum

of tolerance and bystander inaction,

and to think

that those who get bruised

are any different

than you is fiction.

Being a victim

is not an addiction,

but a symptom

of the macho masculinity affliction

that sees violence

as an ever acceptable reaction,

or that too much testosterone

is the real problem

whilst breeding the notion

that this is the natural order of things

instead of asking the questions,

why do some men hurt women?

and why is violence such a deeply gendered phenomenon?

and why are these instead not defined

as gender crimes?

Worded as ‘women’s issues’ and ‘violence against women’

whilst men’s part in the process

is the invisible omission,

like there could be another explanation

to gender relations

and we just aren’t keeping up with the times.

So here I stand as a woman

standing with women

who are stood on by men,

and if you think

that you’re a good one of them,

then what are you doing

to be part of the solution?