body transgressive | a poem

writing is the only space

that you didn’t request access to

*                                                  

writing is the evaporation of a physical form

*

you only want to hear me speak

so that you can cut off my words mid-air

*

women’s bodies adapted to men’s bodies

I got caught in-between

*

furniture took on the shapes of men

mornings smelled like men’s apertures

their bodies were leaking, getting rid of themselves

*

silence had a woman’s body

the tiptoeing toes cracked, effervescent

fingers self-destructive, nihilistic

*

she walked through the night to be touched

to feel like herself

to not become an insect

a pestilence, love gone acidic

to not stink of men’s tongues

*

her body distorted itself

into stillborn desires

she was not coming to life

and he stopped touching her

because she invited death into her body

take it all

and he had been sick of death for a long time

he had already seen too much of it

*

and I understood quickly that if hungry men

are not fed by women they think they own

morals fly straight out of the window

*

I learned that a man’s lust is a burden

handed over, imposed, hollowing out

*

I learned that a woman’s lust is non-existent

but what was I then

I overfed myself

*

what men did openly

women imagined in hiding

*

I poured my body on the street

shrouded myself in foreign shame

teaching me, then silencing me

you made me boil

added all ingredients

discarded your sins

*

and when I was finished you told me

everything about you is wrong

*

touch was never what I imagined it to be

*

I couldn’t find myself in my own body

because you were everywhere

*

you conveyed to me that I was obligated

to open up my body politely

*

say yes with a smile on my face

shutdown for my sake

*

give myself away

*

that I needed to be dutiful

when men were forceful

*

taught me

buried me

*

but I have always been alive

and safeguarded my language

photograph © Laura Gentile 2021 | Instagram: @melpomenepaintings

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