Thursday, June 9, 2016

Shame (Poem)

it is a strange thing, how ashamed women are
how unpersoned we become
by the small tricks and tells of the body:
odours, fluids, that stain and darken and drip
insisting on permeability
screeching our leakiness to the neutral, offended air

some kinds of fluids, especially:
some kinds of crucifixions, heart-deep.

how strange it is, to be rendered small and dumb with the piercing shame
of blood-wet thighs in a dove-grey suit
to understand, without understanding, the depth of this transgression -

a thing which is born of the body only, and as biddable,
as much our fault,
as the keening of the four winds.

a thing which marks us, like a prison tattoo:

a secret that everyone knows
trembling in the faint metallic tang of it
taboo and disgust locking fingers over us

how small, we. how shameful.

it is a strange thing.

- Kathy, 9/6/16

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