Exhibit A

Exhibit A

It’s called a safe

for it holds something

not meant for you to take

but to a cracksman’s fingers

it’s just another code to break

as the handprints linger

in every crack about the place

did you know the DNA from

one dead skin cell contains

the genetic make up of the face

that smirked

as it ripped out and replaced

all that was inside

with fakes

becoming just a case

burdened with waste

as the safe

still looks like a safe

but isn’t safe

in the most fundamental ways.

(I don’t know how much

bodies go for these days

but I doubt your exchange rate

was worth more

than the price I paid.)

Trigger TV

Trigger TV

When even broken bones

burns

bite marks

internal injury

Her story

Her reality

is not considered worthy

neither for a charge

nor being found guilty,

when even without

Her words should be

Enough.

Maybe

if being an amputee

wasn’t internal

then you could see

as clearly

She wasn’t privy

to the memo

from the CPS and jury

about what constitutes believable,

since giving a reliable account

takes a PHD,

and to what degree

She just takes up your precious time

being angry.

Tell me,

is it as much

as he took Her body?

“At Least We Tried”

“At Least We Tried”

At times I come across a soul

so quick to bring me down

I wonder what their story is

and what joy they have found

in superficial conflicts

or actions brought of anger,

how do they think

that will make the world a better

place, for us to live on together?

Hearts closed to the bigger picture

this is how they respond to the suffering

of others, by increasing the fracture

till we’re all just single broken bones

in a human body,

dysfunctional vessels

for a collective heart heavy.

Spreading the disease

of jumping to the worst assumptions

about another human heart

without knowing its best intentions.

But love is a doing word

so let’s all keep in mind

that in a world already tough enough

at least we tried being kind.

Goggle Jogging

Goggle Jogging

As your eyes

run down my body

and stop

at the top

of my thighs

it would be nice

if I could go ten minutes

without being objectified

as I’m trying to exercise;

I’m not interested

in catching fucking flies

so go take

your dick brain

someplace else for your fun,

my body

is no one’s matter for pleasure

unless it’s me

that’s the one

turned on.

On A Pedestal Up In A Cage

On A Pedestal Up In A Cage

The weight

of rape

is about eight eight

any less is implosion

so either deny it space

or fill it with hate

on the days

I think

that’s all that makes

up my body.

The date

of rape

is the second

or the last weekend in June

or overnight stays

and security gates

staying up late

because you can’t sleep

and bottles of cava

and tops patterned with tartan

and saying no

when unhooking your bra

at the start

you always remember saying no.

The taste

of rape

is stale sweat on a plate

and peanut butter jam sandwiches

as the first thing you ate

as you try to convince yourself

it wasn’t that bad

it just wasn’t that great

and you wore red underwear

so it must have been fate,

the taste

of rape

is shame.

The time

of rape

was thrice

between eight and eight

what a coincidence

that was also your weight

it’s a blur in slow motion

I think that summarises the notion

of trauma.

The name

for rape

is apportioning blame

to ourselves

for an act

where we were defamed

and social outcry

when we dare to show rage

and the moral irony

that our supposed lack of fight

got us here in the first place,

put on a pedestal

up in a cage.

The name

for rape

is one in five women.

The blame

for rape

is the rapist.

Leading Lady

Leading Lady

This is your gentle,

daily reminder

that yours is never

the lesser life.

Do you hear me?

You are not a supporting actress

to an existence

you no more deserve to hold;

your role is the Heroine’s journey

and the path ahead

is adorned with gold.

Timeline

Timeline

I’m primary school age

and it’s pitch black outside

a man pulls me from under my bed

and shines a torch in my eyes.

(I’ve blanked out what happens after but I still feel those wandering hands)

I’m in my teens

and boys don’t care if I come

they just force my head down

and I choke till they’re done.

(When I start learning whose pleasure I’m good for)

I’ve started self harming

the boy I’m with doesn’t care

he just takes off my jeans

ignores the fresh cuts that are there.

(When I start treating myself how they make me feel)

It’s my boyfriend’s nineteenth

we’re at the pub and he’s pissed

he’s talking porn with his mates

and bragging about the girls on his list.

(When I start paying more attention to where my hair grows)

Now I’m locked in a room

and this guy is touching my thighs

when I tell my boyfriend ‘I was assaulted at work today’

why do I feel the need to apologise?

(When I quit my job and I’m blamed for us being skint)

Not till my best friend and I are twenty four

does she tell me about her brother

I want to get a knife

and stab that manipulative motherfucker.

(When she still has to spend every Christmas with him)

Now I’m having sex and this guy

shoves himself inside me and it hurts

I yelp out with the pain

but he carries on. I’m unheard.

(When it’s never about when I’m ready)

Let me introduce you to Alex

it’s our second date

I tell him no

but I guess that’s not how you stop a rape.

It happened three times that night

then it finally stops

when I tell the police

they ask me if I came and offer to ‘tell him off’.

(When the system doesn’t believe you)

There’s more where these came from

but by now you should have the message;

when is sex about respect for women’s bodies, a loving touch or gentle caresses?

What is society teaching young women

about their own worth

when research shows we describe ‘good sex’

as ‘without physical or emotional pain’ first?

I refuse to serve jail time

for acts of war I didn’t commit

there’s a wild woman raging inside me

and she will not let you hear the end of this.

Until it is the end of it.

Fuck silence, watch me break out into song.