The Body by Melita White

 

The body wants to move
wants to reinhabit itself
it wants to play
To bend arc writhe and double with grace and ease
The body lets go
It also gets tired
and stiff and it aches
The body takes up more space than the other bodies do
It is majestic and has presence
Full of symbolism and reference
it represents fundamental truths
cruel ironies and distortions
The body is encumbered
Yet extends beyond boundaries
The body is boundless Continue reading

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

 

What You Kill, Kills You- Sohini Chatterjee

At ten past two at night I push

sorrow out of ashen tongue, cigarette burnt lips,

stained sweater of blood, injury and sweat,

and spell T.R.A.U.M.A in hundred different

ways.

The mother commands homicide

of naked blisters and turgid wounds

before the stench of guilt reaches the shore

and screams breathless; I acquiesce.

Now every third Sunday after seven

satin sashes hide hidden sores

so that fine wine and finer lies can turn antidote again

So

I laugh ten times four every third minute

and count till five to stab at the heart twice

and pull out one strand after another

of hair lost to laughter lost to pain

and pull regret out of my skin

and hold it close,

until I choke.

And then at ten past two at night

demon slaying pills birth acrid truths

hold me by the neck

and force me to spell T.R.A.U.M.A

again.


Sohini Chatterjee is an Editor at HYSTERIA: Feminisms Radicalism Periodical and Activist Platform. She is a poet and writer whose work has previously appeared in Coldnoon: Travel Poetics, Rag Queen Periodical, Quail Bell, Cafe Dissensus Everyday, Kindle Magazine, The Lookout Journal etc. Chatterjee holds an MA in International Relations.

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.

Kali- mahish.asur-mar.dini

He painted me dark like the goddess on
the wall, and in grandma’s locket.
Then, he pinned me against glass; Hands
apart, wide-eyed, coffee-skinned; My arms
covered with copper bangles, fingers bore
silver rings, golden chains in my neck,
along with a rope that also held my feet, to
tie me upside-down, to bind my leg to the
fan if I screamed aloud for help one more
time.
I pulled my tongue out and roared, he
sniffed my tears and hit me hard to make
me feel like a balloon of hot air, like his
drugs did at the start.
I recalled my tiger skins that I had
stopped wearing because enough tigers
had been killed; And, my chain of skulls
had been snatched away when I was
younger; They called me insane for
fancying heads ripped apart from their
bodies. I told them it was my hunger to kill
men in this way, for men had murdered

me; men had sneaked underneath my
hides, every day of my life.
Men had scratched my soft skins with their
claws so that I bled in their arms.
Arms, that I only wanted to tie around my
waist and dance.
My weapons, they’d all been banned. I still
command, my worth is spit upon.
“Do I need to ride a lion to prove that I am
strong?”
He ended his devotion and chanted,
“waah,” as he set me free.
I should have walked away, but I stood
there, a tree.
Until, I flexed my branches as if I had four
arms, shook my head in courage, picked
up a sword, waved, and brushed open his
neck, his face lay at his feet;
I now had a new locket.
– not all girls are happy wearing diamonds
© mahish.asur-mar.dini

Bio: mahish.asur-mar.dini: I gave myself this title a short time ago. I have always felt it in me; I am meant to cleanse the world of its neck-gripping flaws that suppress women. mahish.asur-mar.dini – it’s a Sanskrit word that means ‘killer of monsters’. I hope to kill them in my poems. I hope to kill the monsters in the minds of people.  I am change; I am breaking every glass ceiling I see. I will make this world better.  You can also check out my work on Instagram: @nidhie_saini

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.

Dangerous- Jessica Boyles

 

Never knowing
Steal some shoes
What is coming
Drive Drunk
When it’s coming
An explosion
Spew my venom
Of hate and anger
Spit on a cop
I lose control
Cause pain
Fuck some dicks
Bring grief
Lick some pussy
Betray beliefs
In between
Take some pills
Clean up my messes
Slice my arms
And hate myself

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.