Worlds Away

what the nomad brought home

This is Treason

 

Sometimes, war is silent.
And he advances in the night to hide his crimes.
His teenage consort — stoic, young, and good
At keeping secrets — is unwilling,
But adrenaline confounds before she can distinguish friend
From foe.
Surprise attacks disarm as he takes
Mountains first, then valley, and insists
Her pounding heart and quickened breath
Bespeak the thrill of conquest.
These are missions that he can’t complete alone.
Against her flesh, an unmistakable contour
Threatens as he orders her to come;
Only cowards walk away, she tells herself,
And tries to prove she’s strong enough
To hold the line unaided.  No one wants to be discovered
So exposed.

But then,
He draws his sword and stares her down.
His weapon at her throat, knees on her chest,
An unexpected standoff,
While screaming eyes beg why? for lips that wouldn’t dare
Pronounce their protest;
If she parted them, she’d gag.
I’m weak, he pleads,
Then binds her arms
And reprimands the prisoner:  you know we have to stop.
He charges south along the fertile warzone of
Her body, slides a hand into the quiver, and she arches
Like a bow about to snap.
Once more, she tries to swing a weak defense —
He grabs her wrist and laughs…
Too dazed to be convinced she ever really fought at all,
She shuts her eyes, demoralized by guilt, and time
Suspends

….for years.

A heavy hand is placed over her mouth to snuff resistance
  —  Shhhh!
Defiant legs are trembling as they strain to hold the distance —
Then muffled cries subside
As she goes numb.
She turns her head.
The war is lost.
And a smile
Surveys the spoils as betrayal burns her face.
He compensates her efforts with a devastating kiss.

We’re accomplices, he whispers.
See what you make me do?
Take our secret to the grave because

She’d kill you, if she knew.



Consider this my contribution for Women’s History Month.  But remember, men are violated every day as well.  The song I chose to accompany this piece, “El duelo” (“The Duel”), is a chilling acoustic duet between Chilean group La Ley (male vocals by Beto Cuevas) and Mexican singer Ely Guerra, about intimate violence, confusion, and pain.  It set the mood for my writing process this time but has actually been a favorite song since high school.

But on to an issue more important than music.  For you, I wish two things — first, that you find this poem completely unrelatable.  Truly, I would love for everyone to be able to read this and think, “I don’t get it.”  But if, instead, you hear yourself saying “Never again,” then I wish, by God, that you may be right.

Absolve yourself.  Peace.



Regrettably, I’m still on a work-induced hiatus from WordPress, but I felt that these were words that needed to be spoken, and spoken now. I look forward to returning in coming weeks and catching up on everyone’s inspiring writing.

March 9, 2009 Posted by | Poetry, Sex, Uncategorized, Woman | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Virgins

I made a pilgrimage

To the land of eternal spring

Where the ancient mountains are burning

And the verdant fields are bleeding

And the youthful streets are screaming –

Cries of the ghosts of virgins

Whose daughters

Are harvested every day.

I walked in wonder

Through the pristine savagery of eternal spring

Averting my eyes from the wolves

Closing my ears to the snakes

And opening my soul to the carnage

That first claimed the virgins

Whose daughters

Are ravaged every day.

I stopped the advances

Of the conquistadores of eternal spring,

Appropriating boulevards for myself,

Walking, exposed on all sides,

To protect my body from their gunshots

While my spirit was penetrated

Like the virgins

Whose daughters

Are born every day.

“Everything’s resolved in bed later,”

Some laugh on balmy afternoons in eternal spring,

When, exhausted from running

And dreading the blows,

The helpless desperately seek refuge

And are cast aside by the sons of a virgin

Whose daughters

Are flogged every day.

“Why won’t you drink!” he screamed

Of the poison of eternal spring

As I told him, instead, to imbibe it,

Wrestled myself from his grip,

And became

Another refugee of the virgin

Whose daughters

Are sedated every day.

Deep in the lion’s den

Higher than the clouds,

The beasts were salivating at my side,

And I could truly see the tragic glory of eternal spring

While, smaller than ever,

I stood at the feet of a virgin

Whose daughters

Are falling to their knees every day.

Stealing into the heavens one night,

I passed into a new season —

More alive than ever before, and crying with relief,

Unscathed but not untouched,

And forever remembering the virgin

Whose daughters

Are saved every day.

  

*I’m not here to make any claims about religious affiliation or devotion, so it is with the utmost of respect that I am requesting you not focus on however it may be that I experience my own spirituality.  I will say, however, that I firmly believe that life is experienced in a deeply cultural context, which, by its very nature, can vary drastically from scenario to scenario.  I hope to inspire reflection on this latter aspect of the human experience.  Travel memories come in all varieties, and sometimes your souvenirs choose you rather than the other way around.  Thank you sincerely for reading, and I wish you kindness, love, and peace.*

December 28, 2007 Posted by | Memories, Poetry, Travel, Woman, Writing | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments