The Separation

How could I leave her there

I saw the bruises on her neck

and the underside of her chin

As soon as I landed

& when I departed

I held her hair back

As she vomited shaking

& clung to me bawling

As her monster jeered

“You act like your whole family is dying

She’s just going back to America

Now stop it.”

What could I do?

She begged me not to hurt him

& I offered up a thousand solutions

Even a citizenship marriage

But she was too sick to see clearly

Now she writes to me:

I’m so happy and so proud

You got out of your abusive relationship

I’m just so sorry I couldn’t do it

Then she doesn’t write anything


by Georgia Park

This Body Is Not An Apology – Christine E. Ray

this body
cleverly constructed
of blood and bone
muscle and sinew
has not always been
my safe house
others did their best
to paint its innocence
shame red
self-hatred black
carved the words
under my skin
rendering this body
an iron maiden
a scold’s bridle
a tomb

this body
scaffolded on
an inheritance of madness
and misfiring neurons
has been brought
to the knees
by emotional
and physical pain
this body
has not always
been my ally
a friend
at times
an enigma
a stranger
an enemy

this body
keeper of my soul
my essence
weathered my past
survived being
carved hollow by loss
this body
has bled crimson
cried oceans
howled with rage
embraced lovers
birthed babies
rejected expectations
of what a woman should be
could be
has dreamed universes
yet to be discovered
within me

this body
my body
that I continue to broker
peace with
that I have learned to respect
if not always cherish
has protected me
through five decades
vulnerable child
headstrong, obstinate teen
fierce warrior woman
but this body
my body
will never be an apology

© 2019 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved

The View From Her Chair

I offer to switch seats

With the former mental inpatient

Friend of mine, recently released

When she divulges that the color of my couch

is distracting because it reminds her

of her stepbrother’s corduroy pants

When he forced himself into her mouth

And she says, no, that’s ok

I actually can’t stop staring

At your light blue orchid just above it

Resting on the windowpane

by Georgia Park

Living Dead Girl – M. Robbins

LivingDeadGirl6-1142x706Sleep is nothing more then a far off dream
So here I lay resting or so it would seem
As ashes fall from heavens face
I realize now that I’m in a 6×6 space

A daily reminder of the four walls
A daily reminder of those harassing calls
A daily reminder of how I’m trapped
A daily reminder of how people don’t see I’m handicapped

Life was never fair
Yet it use to be easy to bare
Once upon a time ago I use to care
Now all I do is mumble and stare
Once again into the dark
Once again to unleash the maddening lark

No room for compromise
Because in truth you speak lies
I no longer need fear
Nor do I shed that tear

You no longer rule this world
Go head let your lip curl
No surprise I became the living dead girl

© 2018 by M. Robbins

To see her website The Lost Voice of a Lark  and read more of Robbins Poetry go here

There Is Strength in Our Stories: Red – Nikki Marrone

Sometimes I leave the blood on my skin,
To remember that red is not the colour of violence.
And that I am not a victim waiting to happen.
This space between my legs is not a crime scene.
Red is not a blood stained sidewalk,
It is not the cut of a prostitute’s gown,
Sometimes I leave the blood on my skin;
For the ones who have no choice,
To remember those who wear it like war paint,
And to support those who it wear it with shame.
This is no tear stained apology.
Nor a problem to be solved.
This is a not something to be taken lightly,
Nor a burden heavily carried.
Sometimes I leave the blood on my skin;
To remind myself that being a woman,
Isn’t something easily washed away.
To remind myself that being a woman,
Isn’t unclean.

Nikki Marrone is a poet, photographer, artist and traveller. When she’s not wandering around the world documenting her adventures, she splits her time between performing, running events and workshop leading. She is the winner of multiple Poetry Slams and has featured at various spoken word nights and festivals around the world.  Her work has taken her to some amazing places and she has been involved in some great projects.

There Is Strength in Our Stories: I have been broken many times before – Tianna G. Hansen

I am not fragile, but I have been
broken many times before. I have
shattered in a million pieces
yet still risen from
the debris, rubble pile of
disgrace and shame, silenced
to keep the truth from bubbling
out of my lips like acid, spat in faces
of my attackers, those who have instilled
this shame, my rapist who never saw the
truth, neglected tears streaming
down my face. neglected my
body, my soul, my self;
made me feel I am

Tianna G. Hansen has been writing her whole life. She founded and is Editor-in-Chief of Rhythm & Bones Press, a small press focused on the idea of healing through writing. She believes there is always something beautiful to be found in the darkest moments. Her work has been published widely in many forms; find it at, follow her on Facebook @tiannaghansen / Twitter @tiannag92 / Instagram @tgghansen24. “Undone, Still Whole” is her debut collection.

There is Strength in Our Stories: Market Penetration – Tamara Fricke

Selling old wares
in a new bar
he saunters towards
a woman sitting alone.

She refuses to
acknowledge the approach
to his buddies he proclaims,
“She’s a dyke.”

Her lover returns
and takes her hand
as she kisses red satin.

Jack-of-all-trades, master of a few, Tamara resides in Springfield, MA with a rather ungrateful cat.