Inhabiting Woman

Inhabiting Woman

Maybe I should create

a map of my body;

points of interest,

places you must let it rest on this journey,

how to enter gently

then navigate my often swift exit,

the sites to discover

if you wish to taste it.

The shape shifting politics

and picnic spots of pleasure earned

with plot points to measure the distance

between where you are and where I return.

We’re both still learning the history of this sacred ground,

how to light up every speck of dirt,

the scale played by her buried treasure sounds.

This travel guide is as much yours

as it is mine,

tourists of the divine feminine

contouring her design.

Hand In Hand

Hand In Hand

I will raise my voice to speak,

begin to rejoice in my action

even if no one hears me,

for this body houses a spirit

more powerful than the layer of skin

touched by another’s fingertips.

They dip their desire in holy water

whilst I make my mark with pincer grip,

acknowledging your visit to this sacred space,

a ticket stub reminder of all that’s temporary,

you can only ever sleep beside this,

an understudy to my lifelong apprenticeship.

But first, take off your shoes,

this is holy ground

we both need to learn to worship.

Vigil #2

Vigil #2

I am still not accustomed

to being wanted for my company,

so used to hosting men

in my bed and this body,

the universe expanding

as somehow my space becomes erased.

To be asked what brings me pleasure

should be so everyday.

I may not be convinced of my beauty yet

but I can believe that I am safe,

even as my deepening breath

begs for armour

or out of habit, sleep hesitates,

both waiting up for the decision my heart makes

to trust the hands that hold me.

You Needed To Hear This

You Needed To Hear This

Enough now,

lay down the weight which you carry,

nobody is owed the heaviness of your soul

and there are other ways to find justice

without holding on to the hard places.

Enough now,

this burden of proof doesn’t belong

to the heart that knows the truth,

whose body shattered into pieces

reflecting someone else’s shame.

Enough now,

name what hurts and let it be,

these wounds may be deep

but do not silence their screaming,

they were never the enemy.

Enough now,

who said you have to do this alone,

healing comes collectively, like a universal truth

and love, it’s time to come home.

You’ve been gone long enough.

Don’t Hold My Head Down

Don’t Hold My Head Down

If you keep doing what you’ve always done

you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got

and you’ve always done

what makes someone else happy.

Stayed over when you felt you should have left,

wanted to say no but instead you said

‘maybe’ or ‘I don’t know yet’

till pressure turned it into a yes

or it was just conceived as one

when often silence is a siren song,

willing someone to listen

and notice something’s wrong

because there’s a voice here that lacks confidence

in saying what they need

and passive participation

just because the other person said please

doesn’t mean it’s the best decision for you,

and if you hesitate or have to convince yourself to act

then that’s your body saying

you don’t really want to do that,

it’s just hard to know how else the situation will pass

and one makes you uncomfortable for longer.

You don’t need to be stronger

because you aren’t weak

it’s just that you’ve learned through past experience

that it doesn’t matter if you scream out,

your pleasure and consent are things people have forgotten about

and then your energy was spent on figuring out

how to get help

when it’s clear that no one hears you.

How do you turn up the volume

to a world that presumes

we all speak the same body language

and show fear in the same way?

Most women’s battle cries are first seen in their eyes

because it’s perceived as an easier option than refusal

to instead freeze or play friendly,

because appeasement is indoctrinated

from an early age

where we are taught that men are violent

and it’s not safe as an adult

to leave our house at night

without company,

keys between our finger tips,

not to style our hair in a manner

that someone could grip

because a man’s arousal is our responsibility

and when it’s seen as our fault then the consensus

expects us to do something about

that erection in his pants now,

and it doesn’t matter about reciprocation

or the years our ancestors fought

for our sexual liberation

because we’re a nation of porn users

waiting on Stormzy’s Vossi Bop, cum-shot, money-pot facial

that actress was obviously gagging for

just after the point that the man behind the camera

called her a whore, whilst another man

sticks his dick in her mouth

and holds her head down,

leaving the next generation in no doubt

that a quick internet search

will show the worth of a woman’s body

in the 21st century,

bent over a casting sofa

as three men penetrate her

and piss on her chest.

Society at its best, no holes left to fuck,

a president that brags of grabbing us by the pussy

and still his fucking time isn’t up.

Two girls one cup

because we’re forced to share the shit

that most men don’t want to be burdened with

because feminism doesn’t equate to being masculine

it just means you’re a pussy

to be in the minority

that stand in solidarity

with a woman’s authority over her own cunt.

On the cusp of a sexual revolution

but some still want the opportunity for a witch hunt,

like how 200 million women and girls have been cut,

it’s the new version of burning alive

because if the world gave women permission to have pleasure

it could satiate her life

in ways men don’t know how to satisfy.

So continue to feed her lies

about her lesser place in society

because really you’re worried

she’d be a threat to male survival as we know it.

Death of dependency in exchange for respect

where sex happens when we’re ready

and we’re free to lay down boundaries

and leave when it feels uneasy

because there’s no assumption

that by a certain number date

or in exchange for his undivided time

we’ll end up in his bed for the night,

sacrificing our needs to pacify a man’s pride

because we’re told that caring is in our genes.

The overarching theme that feeds

the means by which we put aside our desires,

burn out our fires

because having a libido just makes us sluts

and sex ends when the man cums

and we’ve always done

what makes someone else happy.

Vigil

Vigil

This should feel like bliss,

like it does for him

except you’ve gone from tired to high alert

in the time it takes to drive

the five minutes back to his place.

His sweet embrace does nothing

to change your unconscious response

to different bedsheets

as insomnia replaces your ability to sleep.

Counting sheep hasn’t worked in years;

they’re just prey, after all,

to your predatory fears come out to play

and your mind is a coward,

feeding you to the ghosts

for your usual dose of triggers, growing like weeds

somewhere you’re trying to plant only seeds of peace,

but for the former to die and the latter to grow

they both need exposure to air.

So as he holds you close, remind yourself

that underneath this choking layer of soil,

somewhere lies a radical act of self care

and you’re prepared to take the hit,

maybe eventually your body will switch off

and dissolve these flashbacks bit by bit,

maybe one of these days you’ll sink into the pillow

next to him, reaping what you sow,

his gentle breath on your neck,

in a bed that feels like home.

Pickle Jar Karma

Pickle Jar Karma

Today I’ll sit right in the middle of it,

in the thick, dense, lush bustle of love.

It does not do me any good

to exist on the periphery of this one.

Feel the pulse of my heart beat

as it runs through your finger tips

and turns your lips the richest mix

of red and pink. Forget all future things;

now is for sinking into our spirits,

the way yours sparkles through your eyes

and I’ve lost all doubt in universal signs,

spellbound in this spotlight for as long as it shines.

You’ve conjured up an aura that preoccupies my mind

with fascination for how the chapters in our stories

might use the time these bodies

find themselves writing the same lines

on the same side of the page.