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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