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?

Fade out

 

What does it mean?

Stinking red

Taboo?

 

What does it mean?

You cut me

Open.

 

What does it mean

As I bleed

Again?

 

Blood has controlled

My life ‘til

Now.

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.