Abattue / Beaten Down: A Poem

You fed me your own language and

View of the world, the smaller the

Better, according to you. For too long

A time, I looked at the bodies of men

And felt a disconnection, that was you.


What I felt wasn’t naturally so. You wanted

Me disconnected so that you could do

What you wanted to do, what you wanted me

To do. You wanted girls and women to be numb,

To act, not feel, to minimise their awareness of

All the terrible things you were doing, to them, with

Them, even, that’s how far it reaches.


It was easier to make them forget about themselves

So you could focus on yourself, so you could both do

Just that, so they’d forget all about their pain, their desires,

Their voices and agency. That didn’t matter.

A work in progress.

So easy for a professional like you.

That’s what women meant to you.

Nothing. Reduce to nothingness. Something to penetrate.

Something to absorb. Something to empty. Something to vandalise.

Something to fill. Holy, then desecrated. Doomed. Make up your mind.

The hands of men. You selected, you collected, you boasted and hid.


Oh, what a net. The siren never had a chance to find her song.

What a relief that would have been to see you fail. For once.

Let nature swallow you whole, all the likes of you.


“Stehende Frau in Rot” by Egon Schiele (1890-1918)

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