MAKING (HER)

I did not make “woman” for myself

I have learned “woman” as a behaviour 

taught through a language

of patriarchy and heteronormativity

I am still unlearning

what “woman” means to you

Detangling your preferences  

and searching, returning

to what I am to myself


I am free, running

wild 

A body

etched with all instincts

of tasting my surroundings

my pleasure

in hunger and wholeness

a deep breath

an exhale, untethered


“Woman” is your cage 

which I’ve landed in


“Woman” is your territory

but my title 


I’ve learned to play the role you handed me

because it was all I knew

And you rewarded me 

in abiding by your confines

Through my politeness

you call me pretty

say I’m sweet

You rewarded me in social currency

sexual currency

say I'm cute when I’m so easygoing

say I'm vague when I say no

I did not make “woman” for myself

But I fell for it 


I am free, running

wild 

A body

etched with all instincts

of tasting my surroundings

my pleasure

in hunger and wholeness

a deep breath

an exhale, untethered


“Woman” is your cage 

which I’ve landed in


“Woman” is your territory

but my title 


I was taught about sex 

that “boys and girls think differently”

as simultaneously a warning 

and naturalized

like sex is something done to me, not with me

But it’s okay

because boys just think differently

I was taught not to put myself in danger

by showing my skin

as if my skin was the problem

and not the gaze who endangers


As it turns out 

I like to fuck just as much

I just don’t want to be fucked

when I say stop

or when it is impossible 

to say no

Your rejection of my boundaries

is not my consent


It is not my fault

when you pried your way inside me

It is not my fault

I said yes

because no, over and over

was not an option for you


I wondered if I did it to myself

like I could’ve stopped you

if only I found a stronger lock

How wrong this is

when it was your choice to break in


I am free, running

wild 

A body

etched with all instincts

of tasting my surroundings

my pleasure

in hunger and wholeness

a deep breath

an exhale, untethered


“Woman” is your cage 

which I test the bounds

and break free from


“Woman” is deteriorating 

as your territory

A title I can reclaim

or live without


And as this sun rises

kisses the curve of my back

I feel

I have not lost my softness

It is simply no longer for your taking

HANDS, HOLDING

Letting go; 

She is an expression of myself, a knowing 

She visits often when my grasp tightens on life, when my eyes grow accustomed to old comforts 

Comforts of a younger self, ways of witnessing and being witnessed 

that I cherished when I first encountered them 

Being understood, one layer deeper 

A freedom, a pleasure, in feeling seen

I hadn’t quite felt it like this before 

It feels honest this way, to show yourself

Patiently, closer to yourself 

One movement at a time

I am whole where I am and where I was, as much as I knew how to feel 

But I made myself so much smaller then 


Relationships built on an honest love, from and for a smaller self 

What happens when I start to speak up? To show myself, again, one layer deeper 

To share myself, a little less afraid of not being as easygoing, not acting with as much of a need to please 

still with a tender heart

Will there still be space for me? 

Will they still witness me with understanding eyes? 

This space, that allows me to move more honestly, more easefully than before 

it is unfamiliar to them, too 

Bitter it might taste to some, and incredibly sweet to others

I can’t control this 

it can only be a gift in showing itself to me 


Like roots sink deep into soil, interwoven, nurturing each other 

we grow into similar spaces 

in the moments we’re able to hold each other, in the ways we know how 

This changes as my limbs stretch to the earth and sun, as my heart grows wider and eyes clearer

as my voice grows more honest and less afraid 

And so do yours 

We grow deeper, together, in showing ourselves  

In reaching my fingers to meet yours, and feeling our hands hold each other 

There is room for us both to reach, I’m still learning this

Learning that I don’t need to hold my arms close to me to feel your warmth 

I don’t need to make myself smaller to be held, valued, loved 

I am learning this in reaching 

Some hands feel colder to the touch than I knew to recognize, maybe they preferred a smaller self 

I’m coming to peace with this, they are still learning how to share space, too 


Other hands feel so much safer, more loving and tender and honest than I could’ve known 

I can let go into holding each other, I can let go into myself 

I can let go

IN ACHING & IN MENDING

What it is to know you        in aching           and in mending

to feel so far       that coming close       means falling       entirely

in a breath        far from unfamiliar        while all else        is lost


They tried to tell me         that to hear you         is to peel us apart


Perhaps they've forgotten         how it feels          to touch  you      

to know how tenderly         they are held       in your bones  

and your blood         How your voice       is the clearest     

most breathtaking       sound


I don't think they knew         how close we are        to hearing you

when your presence        is so fine tuned        in synchronicity

that we can forget       to listen


Our voices are so young       in the arms of you


It was in pain          where I remembered you          as myself 

to hurt with you           to long for a home in each other     

where we can both       breathe freely 



It is not the first time       pain is a messenger      that reminds us 

how the soul yearns       to meet our skin       in recognition 


I could not possibly       forget you       as myself       

when the threads       who weave our spirit together       weep 

in calls of pain       A loving knowing       that the human heart 

will listen       and a willing mind       will follow 


It is in healing       that I hear your whispers       more clearly        

than a world still learning       While my soul       rests in your arms

breathing again       tracing the corners of you       that have always

been home


I know your voice       was always here        resonating through

every cell              Echoes       like the first sound       I ever knew

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