Preyed

 

Whispers penetrate flesh walls,
secrets resound like a melody
within the temple of mind.

A church choir of boys
sing Latin,
a tongue they never understood,
yet made beautiful in spite.

An angelic host of innocence,
perched in perfect rows;
perverse men licking dry lips
conduct harmony, as
chorus echoes in rounds
confined by marble stone
laid by hypocritical hands.

In time holy walls stand,
coffers full and overflowing
while souls remain empty.

Yet pride crumbles the benevolent,
corrupt tongues stumble awkwardly
over the dulled ivory teeth of time.

Stained glass fragments let in truth,
rays of light stream through darkness
reflecting a shattered faith sanctuary
built upon broken bones of man.

 

©Sabrina Escorcio
September 2017

Photo Credit, Sam Webber illustration for “the Priest That Preyed” – New York Times

 

Sexual Exploitation — One Pamela Pusumane

I never knew this body would be such a burden

A subject of many tragedies and a let down to the world.

To God. To man. To myself.

I never knew my existence would be a never-ending sacrifice

In between war zones, conflict, inside homes. Isn’t the body at war with itself?

I never knew this body would be a burden.

A body whipped into submission with tongue lashes

As I’m molded into what everyone wants, but never what I want.

How hard is it to be whole in a world on a mission

Of picking you apart and selecting pieces of you but never the whole of you.

I never knew this body would be a burden. An everyday contradiction.

This body has mastered the art of not being enough and has multiplied to please.

To be objectified and put on sale. Sometimes not considered human

Until and unless the blood in my veins flows in rhythm with another beating heart.

Who can own me, the whole of me, and never feel entitled? God already failed at that.

I never knew this body would be such a burden.

I never knew holy books would be chains holding me down.

I didn’t know that in this script, I’m the villain who messes the world for everyone.

It’s safe to say my punishment will be an everyday ritual.

I have seen all monsters in my lifetime, what’s new?

I know every waking day that I will be a continuous apology

An almost. Good enough for the next lover

That breaks into this fragile, weak, invisible body.

I long knew that this body was a pit stop destination

for sex, marriage, fun, and distraction, but never more. I mean, how best do you say exploitation?

© One Pamela Pusumane

Bio: One Pamela Pusumane is a young creative writer an poet from Botswana who is passionate about writing pieces that push the boundaries and get people talking about the things we tend to shy away from in our daily lives. She is currently pursuing her BA(Hon) Social Sciences undergraduate degree at the African Leadership University in Mauritius. You can also find her work on Instagram, Facebook, and Hello Poetry.

Domestic Abuse — One Pamela Pusumane

I have never been good with emotions but I’m an artist with fists.

Sometimes I prefer beating myself up with a bottle

Because Mommy said that’s how you make beautiful canvases.

She would say, “Life ain’t a fairytale,” because someone

has to do the dirty work of mining the pixie dust.

On nights where I became a home for dear mother

She would tell me how pixie dust was made out of

broken dreams, hearts, homes, and all that God did not deem worthy.

From that day on, I have mastered the skill of hiding bruises.

Being black and blue means you’re closer to being ash. Pixie dust.

I have come to accept that my lover’s hands are like a boomerang

Always thrown in my face and quick to come back

Because that is how God answers her prayers.

Quick, and with such passion for those whom she loves.

Her love needed to be seen, to be felt. I mean, how do you get someone to believe?

Mommy says I need to be strong and strong people must be tested.

She says God forgives, so must we, for days on end. We must love as if we don’t hate.

She says this with tears in her eyes as if God will flood the earth again.

As if life would hang its gloves and her fists would not feel a bit heavier every day.

We both needed saving but our screams were not loud enough to break glass

houses.

I have never known what love is but I have felt her.

On days where she wanted to take me to the grave with her.

But I knew how to hide the blue and black away.

I learned how to smile because the world won’t bury a smiling corpse.

And I refuse to be turned into pixie dust.

© One Pamela Pusumane

Bio: One Pamela Pusumane is a young creative writer an poet from Botswana who is passionate about writing pieces that push the boundaries and get people talking about the things we tend to shy away from in our daily lives. She is currently pursuing her BA(Hon) Social Sciences undergraduate degree at the African Leadership University in Mauritius. You can also find her work on Instagram, Facebook, and Hello Poetry.

Child Bride- Twistdbutterfly

I sit and stare out the window

watching the wind as it catches the swing and makes it move

as if I am on it

Maybe the ghost of my childhood is

I look like I’m playing dress-up

wearing my mother dress

only for some reason it fits

it’s even constraining not leaving me the air to Cry

I wanted to go to school

Instead I’ll lay in his bed

There the only things I’ll learn my tiny body will dread

I’ll cry for my mother while he tries to make me one

I won’t ask for my father

Because to me they look the same

If marriage means it’s not forced why does the force of his body nearly break mine

The only things he’ll teach me are his grunts while I cry

I still play with baby dolls while my body grows round

I’ll be confused why until I hear her first cry

She looked like my baby dolls,

But demanded so much more

I’m scared and tired

I don’t know what to do

I made a bed of leaves, placed them up high.

Surrounded by so much ugly I knew her beauty would shine.

In fear and confusion I ran away

Confident someone would hear her cries

But knowing if they didn’t

Death is Gentle compared to life


I am a 44-year mom of three and a Nana to two.

I love to write, take pictures and dream.

I blog at Twistdbutterfly

Twistdbutterfly@instagram

Down – Deveraux Frazier

Down
Down
Down
Deep into the darkness we go
Depths uncharted but by one
Death discharged into the youngest one
Down
Into the valleys we praise the one light
Down
Into the dungeons we sing our names
The last trinket of humanity remains
In souls that were pure and sane
Down
We become human no more
The key to our paradise is just a door
For lust to be ejected and erected
Down
Go our heads, hands, and feet
Offset by the blood and tears going up
On and on go turned on males
But down goes our daughters
Down to our wives
Down to mothers

Down goes their cry of agony tonight

Pour a little oil
The pour a lot
The anguish of their tears matters not
Do it for the culture
Do it for the vultures
The predators on back pages
And the scum of Hollywood stages
Chain them up, beat them down
Parade them in front of the media moguls
Nobody ever asks about sudden interruptions
Or slanted eyes
Painted to be portraits of innocence and care
Wages might be the thing least fair
In the face of the abuse, forced to refute
It’s a fair ride they bought too many tickets for
Once you step in, nobody’s opening the door
It’s the women, it’s the children
Inside the buildings, outside on set

There’s poison in our icons they don’t regret

For my sister
Who I will not name
Whosoever knows this darling beauty
Knows she needs not the identification of man
To be
For our names are simply markers
Of one miniature trait of identity
And hers spans the infinite depths
Relegating everything I think about her
To one, six letter word is folly and crude
She is a leader, now rather than soon
But I would be remiss if I forget her victimhood
How she too suffered inscrutable pain
Of being exposed at such a young age
Not of her own fault, nor of her own will
It amazes me still how some can will action
In a time when the masses only react
I wish I had acted
But I’m not sure I’d be writing this to you

© Devereaux Frazier


Devereaux Frazier is a teen poet and writer from Baltimore, Maryland. He’s been published twelve times on SpillWords, with “Pleadings Against The Preposterous” being nominated for Publication Of the Month of May. He’s also been published five times on TeenInk, with “Less Than Human” being published in the October 2016 edition of their magazine. He placed second in Blood Into Ink’s January #MeToo writing contest. Literary Arts Review has published three of his poems as well. In addition to being a guest barista for Go Dog Go Cafe and member of The Writing Hour, he runs his own poetry blog, which was voted best of 2017 by Kendall Person of The Neighborhood.

Snapchat and Instagram: @devverroh
Blog: marylandpoetblog.wordpress.com

In Case You Still Don’t Understand Consent-Jessica Boyles

 

This was no one-night stand
I’ve had drunken sex that I regretted
Or not
Too many times for mom to read about here
This was not that
This was different
With a one-night stand
I may have made some questionable choices
But they were my own choices

You made the choice to get drunk
You made the choice to flirt with this guy
True
I did
I also chose to eat a salad and wear red socks
How do any of those things forfeit my right to sex with consent
Here’s the thing about consent
It can only be given when your brain is functioning
It is the presence of a yes
Not the absence of a no
Do we need to start signing documents to begin getting this right

I don’t know a lot of things about that night
I have no memory
I will never know
Whether or not I was drugged
Turns out
Decisions to go to a SARC unit
Don’t always coincide with the life of a drug in your bloodstream
I will never know
Whether both of the guys in the hotel room where I woke up had sex with me
I will never know
How my glasses got broken
Why I had bruises all over my legs

Here is what I do know
If I wasn’t drugged
I was drunk to the point of confusion
Slurred speech
Falling over
Passing out
I also know
When I see someone like that coming out of a bar
I help them out
Hail a cab
Drive them home
In the absence of those actions
I leave them alone and hope they stay safe.

What I don’t do
Is take them back to my hotel room and have sex with them


I am a woman. I am a survivor and a fighter. I am a dreamer. I am a believer. I’m an Aunt, a sister, a daughter, friend and lover. I write out of the depths of all of these things that dwell in my soul.

How I Drown- Jessica Boyles

 

The first wave was a sneaker
A rogue
Smacked my back and sent me flailing
Without warning
Without a chance to gasp

The second wave took its time
Built momentum
With a deep sucking inhalation
It engulfed me
One with its water wall it charged us forward
Carrying me with locomotive fury
Slammed my body
Limp kelp slapping sand

The third and fourth waves hit in immediate succession
No chance to breach the surface
Desperate panic as lungs cannot wait it out
Breathe in the chaos
Lungs laden with brine

After that
The weight of dread in my belly
Held me under all on its own


I am a woman. I am a survivor and a fighter. I am a dreamer. I am a believer. I’m an Aunt, a sister, a daughter, friend and lover. I write out of the depths of all of these things that dwell in my soul.