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.

Tadasana

Tadasana

Spread your fingers wide, arms raised

towards the sky, like the sun

is pulling you to new heights,

to open spaces now that your hands

are no longer wrapped tight around your body

with impossibilities repeating.

Meet your feelings as peace doves,

treat their wounds, gather up their spilled blood.

Let the daylight soak into the scars on your exposed skin,

breathe in to your love coming home.

Choking on Thin Ice

Choking on Thin Ice

The results are in;

I have seen their Instagrams and painted frames

and we are nine tenths not the same.

It will take all the strength I don’t have

to lift this sadness

off this second-rate skin cage,

I could never measure up to win a single round.

So I will count my losses in pounds

and my doubts as all the demons

who never leave my side,

but still I shall smile like I am fine.

Drink this whisky like it is poison

because I have developed a thirst for oblivion,

drowning in the curse of my own antipathy.

Wreckage

Wreckage

The edge of a cliff is a beautiful place

but I misplace confidence in my footing,

forget the risk of mud slides,

the effect of tears on mossy rocks.

By now, the fall should not come as a shock

and the shore breaks waves

like I am sure to break bones.

Blown away are the foundations

of a love to come home to,

for who could ever soften the landing

of a heart demanding to spill its own blood.

You Say I Am Still Beautiful, But I’d Rather You Told Me I Was Brave

You Say I Am Still Beautiful, But I’d Rather You Told Me I Was Brave

Sometimes the only pain I can carry is the one that burns, that draws blood, because beating myself up is the only bearable unbearable way I know to bruise. Shallow breaths don’t support screaming, starving turns dark thoughts lightweight and lightheaded means less space to care. Wait till you see my bones and how the hurt just falls off me when it has nothing to hang on to, wait till you hear my heart rupture and rush red through my ribcage like it was running for its life. Then watch how love pours out my arteries and leaves when it believes I’m better off empty. You touch this frozen, unfeeling skin but all this shrinking means I shall slip through your fingers. Taste me on the breeze, somewhere not here.

The Operation

The Operation

Direct the surgeon

to make the incision

side left, inbetween my ribs,

pausing to let the cut bleed.

I need something warm to feel on my skin at the end,

so let it trickle, leave its stain.

Insert the tube through to my chest cavity,

drain the fluid, and once I am coloured grey

then keep going

till this body fades away,

deflates,

disintegrates.

Donate my organs

to one who understands their value

better than I did,

who knows to love every breath these lungs take

and can tell each beat of our heart

it has always been good enough.