once, i belonged to womanhood

Her body doesn’t belong to her
although hard-wired in,
she shuts it away
tucking it neatly under the covers
and going about her business.

It belongs to spring flowers
body blossoming in her absence,
skin awash with blooming spots of purple
vivid reds and mottled greens
new life sprouting
in a seed stained apartment.

It belongs to exertion and apologies
being taken apart in the dark,
dripping heavy tobacco sweat
an ashtray for limbs
put out all over her skin.

It belongs to lurid plastic capsules 
bottled up avoidance,
pop ‘em, honey, senses dulling
another night ended.

It belongs to the rare doctor’s visits
a check-up, a look in,
to find flesh turned machine
clanking, programmed to perform
with clinical precision.

It belongs to the pair of beasts with red-stained maws
who sneer at their one-hour plaything,
while each heavily drawn mouth
grapples to get the last 
word in. 

It belongs to a regular wretch
laden heavy with his father’s lessons,
burgeoning and beseeching
scratchy-faced and 
thank God it’s easy to please him. 

It belongs to the men who sit back smiling
cruel with their black biros,
comfortable in their armchairs 
writing curses they call 
It belongs to a single bed
and a pillow shared by two, 
made up lullabies and snuffly breaths
and two teddies happily hugging.

It belongs to the kick in her belly
and a small hand in her own,
a cold room with a warm, tender creature 
asking quietly 
to be tucked in.

Featured photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash.


In a dream, you saw a way to survive, and you were filled with joy.


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