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.

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.

Home Educated

Home Educated

If my mother taught me anything

it was how the weak inherit the dirt

buried beneath the weight

of putting husbands first

and living through your children.

If my mother taught me anything

it was the chains of festering silence

tied to family secrets

the way you and my father screamed after dark

the way you feigned happiness in the morning.

If my mother taught me anything

it was to criticise my body

hate my own bones

till starving showed them through my skin

how you would be proud of me then.

If my mother taught me anything

it was the vicious birth

you called us sacrificial blood

threw money at the graves of those you slaughtered

expecting forgiveness and calling it love.

How Trauma Dresses at Daybreak

How Trauma Dresses at Daybreak

I woke this morning in parts,

making coffee with crossed wires

and crying coconut milk.

Washed my body in two minds;

one mine, one a critical mother,

blood weeping from cracks in her breast bone.

A broken mirror watches

as clothes are chosen with baggy fit for comfort,

pulled on with careful movements,

for the world cannot know

of the war I wear in my chest

when I am missing whole pieces of woman.

Red Shoes and Life Signs

Red Shoes and Life Signs

The famine started long before this soul could read,

letters giving way to patterns,

stolen colours mixed with second hand scraps

and fashioned as freedom.

A skin that falls away from the bones

to expose the starved sinews, weak from sneaking sensations

in all the wrong places.

Months spent as an empty shell

longing for the sea,

weighed down with sand and plastic wrappers;

cheap treasure, shallow digger.

All that tickles and thunders was buried deeper underground

but detecting only shadow signals

instinct gave way to injured impulse

and lay dying in final defence of the once courageous heart

who lost its rage to a captive life

in a weather-beaten cage and severed from the body,

power seeping out the cells into a muddy puddle on the floor.

But home is where the heart is,

even when it fights back at a crawl

this body will regrow limbs, applying medicines

to clot the blood back into these veins

and the whispers of the wild woman

will echo through each chamber of the heart,

breathing gulps of handmade air

just to howl at the moon.