by Gwyneth Lewis

I see you, great literary men, holding a party

Just beyond me. You are loving and greeting

Each other while I’m caught in the junk room

Of your misogynies: mahogany furniture

Shipped from crises on older continents,

Is blocking my way. Massive and polished,

They shine in the gloom, recalcitrant. Grand

Lyrical Men who tried to fuck me

(You know who you are) I see you wave in

Those who you favour, leaving me pinned

To the wall by a linen press. Brass teeth,

Ferocious, snap at my nipples. An insistent caster

Sucks at my mouth, while a cabriole leg

Juts up my jacksie. Aggressive chattels

Of others’ unstated fears. What do you see

In me so disgusts you? What has to be

Fucked then blotted out so that you

Can bear it? That you were babies once,

Helpless? That the world’s a bad breast, doesn’t

Obey? Or, horror of horrors, the will

Doesn’t work power’s beside the point.

Grow up. This is your junk and I refuse it. From

My dead end, I see others in traps of ice

And iron, we wave at each other, we’re coming,

Your days are numbered. So will we project

Onto you, make you a hedgehog, pierced

By your furniture’s splintering? No.

Look, here’s my mother’s clothes horse,

What if we cover it with a blanket

Making a room where anyone may play,

And learn not being afraid together?

Published by Robin

I'm a retired journalist who still has stories to tell. This seems to be a good place to tell them.

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