smudged | a poem

life is a constant battle to reclaim my own body

*

work, as we know it, is a disservice to heart and soul

*

they take my body away from me and call me names I don’t recognise

but they descend into me

and their meaning is unleashed

and morphs my body

according to their tepid cruelty

*

men reacted to me

boys didn’t

I knew something was wrong

*

what men leave behind for other men

is never invisible

but I was

*

sex in my head

and sex in real life were two very different things

*

who were you a part of

if not me

*

I sexualised myself so you wouldn’t do it

but I had been manmade

*

hurting me

pleasuring you

*

I perform and you unleash

*

you stifled my own shadow with the ones you desired

*

I know y o u

I know y o u

I know y o u

overrides consent

but looks good on paper

*

your imagination had always been reality

and real women tortured their bodies into the ones you imagined

there was no room for genuine transfiguration

*

I observed what women were capable of

in order not to be touched

*

how they hardened themselves

to repel, against everything they had been taught

their physical appearance exposed what they went through

in order to remain remotely unscathed

*

but they became solipsistic monoliths

all their harnessed power stayed inside

My own drawing © Laura Gentile 2021 | Instagram: @melpomenepaintings

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