A poem about consent, capitalism, and cultural conditioning.
This is a vulnerable moment—I wrote a poem, which is not something I have really ever done. I wanted to share it with all of you, and would love to hear whether this sort of thing resonates. Did the content speak to you? Is it something you’d like to see more of from this newsletter? Reach out and let me know.
Re // member
We sell our bodies to the highest bidder;
taught we can’t take them back
until we get rich
One way or another,
surrendering to the system.
Not surrender in the sense of allowing,
Tasty and sweet.
Especially for those socialized feminine,
everywhere, the message,
what our mothers learned from their mothers:
You can’t say no if you want to survive.
everyone who doesn’t fit the model learns
that you gotta go along to get along.
Don’t make trouble.
They’ll let you think you’re subverting
if you stay in your lane,
In the liminal space where we built our own city
and made our own rules,
I realized how few of my life’s transactions,
interactions, and encounters
had ever been truly consensual.
We need safety to be vulnerable,
so maybe I’ve never really surrendered
in the sense of allowing,
rather than relenting.
I’ve been caught in the story given to women, queers, and gender- and culture-defiers:
To say “no” means I’m bad, I’m dumb, I’m wrong.
I’m going to get in trouble,
I’m going to get found out,
Out of the garden.
Out of my home.
Cast out from the place where plants speak and the serpent awakens us.
is rejection of safety,
It hit me this morning, as I saw myself entangled
with the woman,
our naked forms encircled by the serpent.
All of us, denied by the father’s watchful eye.
instructed by another,
But not The Mother,
keeper of the kundalini.
Not the Divine Queer,
the center, the core,
who wants us to know
that we can
And saying yes is
Consent can be
Safe in the dark,
I stomped on the floor
and screamed from the bottom of my soul
for every time I “had” to let them have it.
For every time I couldn’t tell a her
how I felt.
For fear I would be bad,
and get kicked out.
Out of the garden.
Out of my father and mother’s house.
Consent you can’t take back
isn’t allowing at all.
In the liminal space, I learned what “no” looked like,
how it vibrated in my chest
and felt in my mouth,
realizing I was feeling this
for the very first time.
So I tore off the fig leaves of original shame
and let the earth have them
as the sun shone over
And then I let the Mother
take me in her arms
and I re//membered
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