How is it that women are the catalyst
when the action is performed by men?
Why is it always us with the apple
of discord, when it is men with the sword?
The towers burn in our slandered names,
And ships are launched on the fame of our faces,
but not by our hands or bodies are they crewed;
Yet it is our bodies which are subjected to crude
consequences and the canvas for speculation.
Give us at least agency over ourselves or discover
Why the fates and furies are all female likewise.
Everyone asking, even other girls,
where the pretty ones have gone,
As though they owed anyone,
merely by existing.
But you should know,
you saw them leave, too wasted
to give consent, such a waste,
with the older boys,
Who also felt entitled to access.
We all need to start answering for them,
when their voices have been silent
all these years, and only their
oppressors allowed to speak,
because otherwise, the police
are the ones asking the next day
where the pretty girls are,
and the answer is always ugly.
Despair is a cave I climb in,
large enough only to hold me when I am at my smallest,
curled upon the hollow inside me,
a Russian nesting doll of emptiness,
save for paroxysms of grief
torn from the throat,
which might be mistaken for
laughter devoid of mirth.
“If you would just shut up for 10 seconds, this sex dream would pass the Bechdel test.” “Why do you ruin everything in my life?” “You’re complicated. You need someone who gets that about you. Maybe several people.”
– The Magicians
Where every opportunity was given, I feel no reproach. Only a sorrow that liberation and solace were not found.
The cat paws
across the fir floor–
a tiny heartbeat;
like a tale
told by an
there is a scrying–
of cat palms,
to tell my future,
in empty tea cups and
of books, but perhaps,
none is needed.