Power cut

We sit,

At the end of the screening,

And the credits stop,

Mid flow.

 

I thought,

It was dark, before.

But now, no light,

At all.

 

Is the man screening the film,

In darkness too?

Dissolve / Cross Cutting 2

‘You’re still beautiful,’

You say. I raise

My eyebrows, note that

You won’t touch the scars,

(But nor will I).

‘You’re my beautiful wife,’

You say,

As you drive into me again and again.

I close my eyes.

‘We still can, I mean,

You could just

Bottlefeed,’ he says.

We discuss it with the counsellor.

Adopt. Donated eggs.

Just get a fucking doll, I scream,

Then it won’t cry, either.

 

‘It’s so much better for you now,’

You say. No question.

And of course it is,

No battle pain.

But you don’t understand that I’ve lost.

‘I thought, now it’s all over,

Why isn’t it better now?

You don’t seem happy.’

I stand. I walk away.

 

‘And my son, and his sons,

Can you imagine?’

I don’t ask,

What if it’s a girl?

‘I stood by you,

All through, until …

We fell apart.

You don’t want me.’

You’re wrong, I say,

I don’t want me.

 

The surgeon smiles at his work,

My husband beams, expectant.

I fear my growing belly.

They say, ‘You’ll be fine,’

But they won’t tell me the sex.

It doesn’t end.

I thought it would,

Job done, a perfect 36C.

But you didn’t anticipate,

Another cancer within me.

 

And in the ninth month,

Je suis l’appel du vide.

 

 

Longshot 2

This is not the loss I’m dealing with. No cut, no knife hanging there, my breast intact, my clit still full of potential. This is not my loss, but your pain resonates, reflect, reflect, reflect again. So real, no #firstworldproblem. Still, the knife hangs over me.

Why dare compare?

            Campaign?

            Your pain resonates. I’m on a point, loss teetering in potentia. ‘You’ve got it all’, I have, I have and I can see it fall, scatter ‘til we are nothing. So I take up the knife, seize the blade, blood wet in my hand. I feel the cut and ask, who has the right? Is it only my right if I bleed too?

I bleed, like you.

Mute

Today,

We mustn’t say,

Clitoridectomy.

We skirt around the issue.

Today,

We can’t say,

Infibulation.

No-one knows what it means round here,

Unless you do,

And if you do, you won’t say,

Infibulation.

Are you, ‘Having your bath’?

‘Going to the back of your house’?

Say your weasel words,

Some witchlike female pact,

Of lies.

What’s heroic,

About being Pharaonic?

The Egyptians deny it.

Today, no-one will pick up the:

Knife,

Razor,

Scissor,

Sharpened rock.

No-one will line up small girls,

And cut,

Cut,

Cut,

Cut.

Bucket of secret parts buried in the ground, we don’t know where.

Today we will not talk about it,

And tomorrow we won’t bleed.

Scene. A Fairground.

Too many of my lines start, ‘Have you ever …?’

And of course, she hasn’t.

No Disneyland, no fairground rides,

No distorting mirror, so we go.

And we stand there, bending as we’re still.

She looks. ‘I knew this once,

In a dream.’

 

We lose each other once or more,

Crazy circles and I’m so tired.

And ‘fraid, I can’t get out.

(We’re all alone in here.)

Comrades in a world that bends,

Distorts and twists, just what is right,

Which way out?

 

Distorted collection of the grotesque,

Echoes from another age.

When I find her, we don’t recognise each other,

For a moment.

That night I dream too.

Dissolve: It’s not the same

 


A week in,

Home,

Heady on opium,

I squat,

And wait.

 

I wait as, fresh knife each drop,

I urinate.

I didn’t know,

Some lost recall,

It was easier back then.

 

It’s normal,

Just the drugs,

You’ll be fine.

We give it time,

Not laxatives.

 

It got worse,

The curse,

They say.

Do you know the smell of,

Week old blood?

 

I bargain, internally.

Negotiate with phantom pain.

If I stop today,

Too soon, they say.

I wait.

 

I know now,

Things should emerge,

More easily,

Than drip by,

Caustic drip.

 

 

You want in,

Modern man,

Restraining yourself,

From cut,

Slash, rip.

 

And still I play a waiting game,

Until, I stop.

Pain welcome here.

I wait,

I wait.

 

I try again, you come with me,

Hold my hand, so I can’t run.

I lie there, legs spread.

You talk over my head,

Make arrangements.

 

Make it easy,

‘It’ll all be easier soon.’

Just open me up.

I pretend I’m not here.

We’ll all be happier when it’s done.

 

On the third day,

Catharsis.

Right now, I rate,

A good shit over orgasm,

Relief trumps pain.

 

It isn’t how I imagined.

You’re happy, though,

And I’ve regained,

Hours each day,

Weeks each month.

I plot the rest of my life.

Day one.

Afterwords: 70 Ps

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

Product Price Place Promotion Physical People Process

Proper  Prior  Planning  Prevents  Piss  Poor  Prophylaxis

Prophylactic Prior Planning Prevents Pain & Powerlessness

Prophylaxis,                                         Power Performance

Prophylaxis,                                         Private Performance

Prophylaxis,                                         Pain Performance

Prophylaxis,                                         Political Performance

Prophylaxis,                                         Pissed Performance

Prophylaxis,                                         Priceless Performance

Prophylaxis,                             Power Performance

Prophylaxis,                 Poor Performance

Prophylaxis,     Performance

Prophylaxis Performs

Proper Prevention

Prior Promotion

Proper, Public

Pre-Planning

Preparation

Planning

Prevents

Private

Pain

Pain

Pain

Scene. Re: building/ Re: fibulation, a promise

 

And that’s where we meet,

Eyes cast down.

Don’t look, don’t talk,

Don’t say my name.

Not out loud, as then you’ll know,

I’m betraying my mother,

My father,

My sisters.

Dare I ask …

You won’t be here,

Too American.

 

How do I explain?

It’s easy to know,

Knowledge bursts from the internet,

The print out in my bag.

I can see my tension in the way you sit,

But we’re not the same.

Cut me open again, I scream.