Creative | Posted by Bindu B on 02/8/2013

My Pretty Girl, My Mother, My Devika

The very first time my father bedded
you, I wailed from the insides. Of your womb, that is. I was a
woeful little egg erupting in warning calls. My father
was the somber-faced virgin with the
hemp on his breath. And as your muscles flexed in support of
his weight, the patterns of henna adorning your arms told
stories and each was more horrible than the next. Women
balance the earth between their knees. It was the first time
since you were an infant that you were not undressing
yourself, Devika; you feared you forgot your body as it
appeared

naked. Your turmeric chiffon sari fell to the floor in a heap.
You are an immaculate folder of cloth, always. Women balance
the earth between their knees. Do strangers know …

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Creative | Posted by Fran H on 01/18/2013

Feminism Is Not A Word We Use In Polite Society

They wanted to be blondes, all of them, at some point in their lives.

Natural honey or not, they believed when

Marilyn cooed, old, white male screenwriters her puppeteers,

“Gentlemen prefer blondes”

the line delivered with a seductive smile,

as Norma Jean Baker, a smart brunette who loved James Joyce,

drowned in her persona, hiding her soul with peroxide and carefully exposed necklines.

They hide themselves too, trying to be socially acceptable, swallowing their opinions along with the latest

dieting tea.

“Look like Barbie!” it promises on the box,

but Housewife Barbie, Mother Barbie, Teacher Barbie, Nurse Barbie,

traditional, safe occupations, nothing like Barbie’s

dangerous incarnations, President Barbie, Astronaut Barbie, CEO Barbie, Scientist Barbie, pushed to the sidelines, hidden under the bed, coated in dust. Nobody ever played with them …

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Creative | Posted by Tiffany C on 11/2/2012

Innocence and Experience

She was all sharp angles even in earlier innocence,

Sticks and stones,

Upright stance, finely wrought

Collarbone jut, delicate vertebrae

stuck out; a recollection of one night

Sternum solid plate of bone; no one will be able to break this part of you

that she instinctively felt in reassurance

Fragile as a bird,

False pretenses in adolescence,

Awkward

Inebriated lightweight who never knew the bitter taste of rejection

and instead, learned of too hasty acceptance—

Arched shoulders, hipbones widened from experience,

Her wrists smudged with bruises blooming like dandelions in grass;

abundant and careless

Her eyes, once starlight-bright, became

Precise in every action

Tousled morning-after hair

She was all sharp angles even until world remained empty,

because that night, casual, she went out with her friends to a club

Was …

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Creative | Posted by Katie M on 09/21/2012

Hero

We all know I’ve given you everything,
that – as far as I’m concerned sometimes – I have nothing left.
You took it all, because I gave it. Freely, willingly, without hesitation,
you didn’t have to ask.
Sometimes you didn’t.

I’ve given you all my words,
and now I don’t have much more to say.
At least, I won’t, when I finally tell the whole big scary truth –
which, despite my best efforts, I have yet to do.

When I say that it’s all out there… Well, that’s a lie.
Some of my secrets I’m still keeping.
Some of my wounds, well, they’re still bleeding.

You cut me deep, you know, and I can still see the scars.

You said you wanted it to have always been my choice.…

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Creative | Posted by Tiffany C on 05/4/2012

One Night Stand

Did she mention how I’m the girl of the moment?

Splashed across magazine cover pages like dripping acid from batteries

Radioactive toxic waste

How could you.

How could you.

Your bright blue eyes, cornflower blue—they said

He’s a gentleman and knows manners long dead

But you really weren’t; not at all what they said

Should I listen to them or the voices in my head?

Tell me this is wrong because it feels so right and I can’t think anymore

No end in sight

Your poisoned words so dark, so deep, penetrating their sickly message beneath

Smudged lipstick and weak resistance

And I’m not too sure what the truth is anymore

So when you tell your girlfriend the next day

Clock’s at 7; the minute hand set slightly off

Where

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Creative | Posted by Blue Rose on 03/30/2012

17

He’s inching closer ,
I’ve seen it before .
His lips ask love but his tongue says whore .

He caresses farther,
I am not there.
He kissed me back to my 8th year.

Momma just watches,
She kinda laughs.
Kevin is done so he strokes my calf.

I am defiled
I am dirt
I am handled
I am hurt

9 years later
A pawed up pet
I am not completely corrupted yet.

They can take my body,
And shatter my heart.
They can feed me lies,
And rip me apart.

They will grope every inch of me . I need it to feel whole
They will squeeze my being ,
But never molest my soul.

He’s inching closer,
I’ve seen it before.
His lips ask love but his tongue …

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Creative | Posted by Emaan M on 09/23/2011

Shame

Jane had pretty poetry
And hands the size of shoes
And swirling inky look-at-me tattoos
On the trophy shelves of her skin
And Jane never thought twice about you
And nor did she digress;
Don’t help me once, just hurt me
less
Yet in the eyes of everyone Jane was a trailer-worthy mess.
And some sweet girls they said things about Jane
How small and suffocating cotton would stick to her skin
How a boy with dark hair and slinky eyes
Boasted about the game and the win-
Yet no one ever seemed to whisper anything poisonous about him.
Friends, teachers, the
do-gooders and world-changers
Her righteous church-community youth leader
Would always have their little snickers of Jane
And that’s what drove her from church.
And no one ever had …

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Creative | Posted by Nicole T on 07/15/2011

The Dishwasher’s Daydream

The sink-washed dishes clap thunderously as you dry them

against one another, as if attempting to ignite a fire between

two friendly sticks. The result: a broken dish

or another proclamation that “This cup…plate…bowl is cracking.”

The washed skin on my hand is growing apart, like the leather on

a cow’s back, and it goes down the drain, and gets cozy with the debris

along with the blood that came from cleaning knives too quickly.

You scurry around the kitchen, telling me about your day

as you shove the dishes into their proper places. The plates go

above the larger plates, and ceramic cups go into a different cupboard

next to the other things that aren’t identical in size and shape.

And if I were a bowl, I would be …

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