The first knot
I came across
was that of a bow,
checkered ribbons on show
exchanging laces for Velcro
and point shoes on tip toe
as every growing girl should know
that shoes can make your feet bleed
as long as you look pretty.
At 15 I learned the hangman’s noose
wasn’t just a game
when the lack of mental health support for young people
showed me how it’s played,
I’m still not sure who won
when for months I couldn’t sleep
without the light on
as depression became a lesson
for our school of life curriculum.
As a young woman
I was tied to the highwayman,
made so insecure
by our bodies viewed
for trivial use
then our brains dumped at the back door
for refusing to copy the women in porn
as society manufactures more
unrealistic expectations for our pubes.
What the media forgot to tell my younger self
was I’m allowed to feel good naked
so here’s where I heard
of the barrel sling
and how BDSM, like all sex, is a consensual thing,
and that he may be good at flirting
but no amount of fucking
will make up for the orgasms you are missing
because you think you have to fake it.
I think the one known as common whipping
describes all the ways
we’re taught to tie ourselves in knots
for fear of getting frayed
so we don’t take the road less travelled
because we’re so afraid
of all our flaws being on display,
we forget that being unravelled
is to give ourselves away.
For there exists a social structure
which tries to doubly constrict your voice
by telling you how you should be
then criticising you like there was a choice
and amidst all the white noise
that says you’re already free,
remember even falconers
keep the most powerful birds of prey
tethered to their perches
caged to a piece of tree.
So check yourselves for knots
and run fast towards the sea.