I write because I must
Because I believed that it was my fault
That it was because I was fat
That if I stopped eating
Stopped moving and stopped feeling
Then I would certainly be safe
Whatever it was that meant anyway.
That you would have given me up for dead.
And therefore it would not be worth hurting me
That I would have given myself up for dead
A very long time ago if I knew
This was the price you demanded for my silence
Was figuring I was too far gone to try to rescue
The way men learn to try to rescue women?
That after a while we are too far gone to fight for
Or kneel to or to place upon a pedestral
That you would rather seek out those womyn who are hurt less
Rather cling to those folks who have undergone less bodily injury
In whatever lifetimes of trauma they have chosen to undergo.
we must not only want to heal
not only want what other people teach us to want
with an eye to maintaining or improving their salaries,
and installing the glass ceiling in our visions forever,
one more woman sealed into her plastic bubble,
her lobotomy signed off on, one more gone crazy or
stupid while the world cheers to have its
sexism reassuringly that much more sacrosanct,
its critique made that much more difficult and
its naysayers finally gone underground.
We of this generation must learn to heal successfully
Regardless of any action you choose to take or do not
Be in other words wholly independent of your being to be loved
Which is crazy in itself because you will be forever seeking
Those who are least affected by your presence
Will be forever seeking those who will love you the least
While those who love you differently or who simply
Refuse to love just the same as everybody else
Love you from the margins and from the shadows
As you refuse to notice us gazing out from there,
From here, from the only place safe to feel one real thing.
They have hemmed us in
They have called us animal
Dog pig and cat
Shoved us into cages
Poked and prodded items into our body
Of every possible description
And then demanded of us, 'heal'
And 'grow now' and make it better for you
At the cost of we ourselves at times
Against our will and when we protested
Too heavily, over our dead bodies
By the hundreds of thousands.
We have done it
We have done everything you have asked of us
In order to survive.
YES I feel guilt
But mostly what I feel is rage
Because we cannot help you
If you will not let us
Because I still want to help you
In the first place
Instead of helping those who would love me back.
These bars you have erected around our unwilling bodies,
They keep yourselves locked in as much as they do us
Because we cannot heal
What you refuse to acknowledge that
We could possibly have this capacity too, and
So you have claimed this
capacity to heal only for yourself
Because we cannot give you what you
Refuse to believe you could want
Because they have made you into a monster
Who does not want to accept that you deserve to heal
After all the terrible and tragic loving you have done
When the eyes of the Authority in your mind was
Looking the other way and
because I am not a monster
I have wanted to help you
To pull you out of the quagmire of shame you are in,
I have simply
been waiting for your permission
to heal the soul in you that
you wish had died long ago because it
is evidence of your disobedience to the only God you
never knew, the father who taught you that love was weak.