I never asked for it,
the box you gave to me at my birth,
the ask that my vast, wild, eternal nature
should squeeze itself inside
and make a home for itself.
So excruciatingly crippling,
the conditions of service.
Maybe it never really mattered after all
that I wasn’t ever quite lovable enough,
or desirable enough for you.
Not pleasing or pretty enough,
never quite malleable and subservient enough
to win the prize of your gaze.
Maybe I was really just born to be
this glorious catastrophe
of heat and hair
and blood and sweat,
trying to hide itself
from the cruel gaze of the predator,
swirling through time like a force of nature,
untamable, unknowable, unpossessable,
sovereign and free, if only she knew.
Maybe I don’t care anymore,
that I don’t actually want what you’re selling,
that I am not and never was for sale,
that I have nothing to sell that you would want to buy.
Unwanted, unhinged from the world,
an act of revolution,
like a thunderstorm or a wildfire
or a weed that sprouts in the gaps of the pavement.
Because I always was and ever will be a little piece of everything.
I am birth and death and all that comes between,
the amniotic fluid and the first breath,
the black shroud and the dark earth,
primal and fierce, delicate and fine.
Maybe I don’t even want you to love me any more.
Maybe I just want to find the way
to claim a greater playing sphere
than the one you allocated to me.
One that has a place for all the parts of me,
unbound from the contortions of suppression.
If you only knew how big I was,
if only I could let myself truly know that unfathomable fact,
unshackling the edicts of safety you placed on me.
I am not safe,
I am a turbulent channel of rampant love and pain,
a catastrophic deluge of compassionate rage and sensual harbor.
I am unfurling my torrential magnificence
into the co-creative field of the universe,
I am weeping in the darkness of my exile.
I am a grief-stricken burgeoning,
a primal harbor for lost parts
and misplaced dreams,
I am big enough to hold all the brokenness and all the hope,
a majestic annihilation of reason,
a formidable imperative of tenderness.
I do not fit in your box and I have all the scars to prove it.
I will not prune myself for you,
be clipped by your infantilising whim.
I am hair and juice, snot and tears,
blood and bone, woman born,
all the years my age and powerful,
unkempt and fertile, life-giving warrioress,
bloodcurdling protector of the vulnerable and the weak.
No I am not pretty and I will not be shamed
and as you cast me aside
I feel the primal undercurrents of creation
scoop me up and feed the ancient rivers within,
of this formidable longing to unshackle
Her vibrant potency,
Her ferocious transmutation,
transcending the captivity of feminine identity,
the psychic imprisonment of fear and belittlement,
that a colonizing culture enforced upon Her.
I exalt the mossy crevices you would manicure and poison,
I relish the succulent decay you would sanitize and bleach,
I trust in the blood-swelling, bone-crunching,
brutality of her primordial love,
so tender and fierce.
I will make of Her my home.
I don’t want to please you anymore,
I just want to love myself
and breath my devotion,
in all my magnificent messiness,
a potent mix of all the things a life can be,
born only this once,
as this particular catastrophe of love and grief,
untamable after all the trying,
only able to be loved completely
by a consciousness as vast and unknowable as it’s own self.
I can rest there, in that knowing,
that even though the world would not have me as I truly am,
I know that the place from which I came will take me back,
unapologetic and shining.
She will understand that I was just an ugliness
too exquisite for the world of small boxes,
a beauty too primal and pungent,
too real and honest
for the world of masks.
Image and text © Lucy Pierce