Feminist & artist. Writing & visuals.

poems on gender

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I found these poems buried in some forgotten digital folders. They're old enough for me not to care about sharing them, as they don't seem too personal anymore.

What am I?

I am the study of a performance.
I am the student of the theatre.
Their confrontation is like
A stab in the heart.

I am the words they cannot handle.
I am those figures that come and go,
I, onlooker,
With the vignette of a lifetime.

I am penetrated routinely.
I am the line, the dot;
Inside me the capacity for life
Fills and empties, repeatedly.

I am suddenly aware,
Of the shuffle noise behind me.
Those characters have retired,
And I am now on stage.

I am a keyhole.
I am a keyhole with a strike-through.
I am an actor.
I am an actor in a room.

The girl clouds waters with the smears of the day.
She will return tomorrow, and the next day,
And so forth. Her skin is rugged at the banks.
Above, my pages turn like leaves as the sun glare
Blurs chapters into incommunicable instruction.

I read through her diaries, look through her keyhole
And see that she is ashamed. Emotions like
Grass fields in the wind, or the tide that ebbs, irresolute.
Catching my reflection, she looks up from
Her hands, five-fingered mouchoirs.

I am too quick. Still unseen, she has scared me away-
Despite that I am the hunter and she is the doe.
We disappear into the verdant thicket in search for
A break in the trees, only to be met
With a glimpse of the moon, shining

The traveller pushes past her branches,
Traces her leaves. Cartography by attrition.
Upstream, the current slips through her fingers
And the birds dissipate in tumult into the sky.
I feel how she feels, for we are the same.

I am her mother: I brought her into this world
And I forced her lines to curve.
So I shed my skin in auburn, each time easier
than the last; internal rings decorate like jewellery.
I look in my reflection and watch the girl fade.