womanhood womanhood did not sneak up on me when my thighs were stained with first blood that arrived so unexpected so connecting it didn’t happen when hormones sprouted lumps and bumps that others stared at and touched it was not given to me nor did I grab it in the first instance of fucking or when lovers loved me or advantages were taken or if I shaved or didn’t … spoke softly … drank wine … eased someone’s pain. I felt it swelling, a fierce instinctive roar woven through rivers that cut their way through the innards of the earth, a carved path hewn for us and I took it declared it mine claimed it – this new world I was so certain wouldn’t swallow me up.
under the covers
I know where the monsters in this house dwell
and they’re not under the beds
I see them at night’s dawn
with crooked soul
and vile perversions.
as they creep past the creaks in the floor
and into my bed.
Previously published in inkspace magazine, Editor Katherine Hopkins. No longer in print
night eyes trust your night eyes, child. there will be no comfort here no fires around which to gather and dance. we are alone. healing cuts and we lavish crimson blood on fresh snow. our tread falls softer, and we fold our bodies down to bow and kiss the earth with the strange tongues of our mothers, wyched words from her womb only our bellies understand. as I wake, I know I am alone. I look up to see the stars have moved and spun the heavens on their backs. winter has killed the leaves and the trees have drawn their spirits in to nest inside their core, leaving the heavens untouched the moonlight stark and uncompromising. the winter hag has stripped me and now I stare back at my own reflection that hangs from every tree, until she rasps that she is done with me, that I have cut away the rags of comfort and my outline. my core is clear, raw. I see those long fingers of the earth stretched toward the stars and head for home, whole, unshadowed, awake in the cold, and terribly, nakedly aware and unafraid of who I am.
(Adapted version first published in She Who Knows magazine, now called Aeva. Editor, Isabella Lazlo)
Amara George Parker is a London-based writer, with work published in literary magazines Spoon Knife, Sufi Journal, i n k s p a c e, Aeva, Voice of Eve, She Who Knows, and Earth Pathways diary. As a queer disabled writer, she hopes her work offers readers an inclusive perspective.
Amara’s website is here.