The extremity of violence against women has been on my mind lately. I am participating in the V-Day festival at UW this week, as part of the cast of A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer. V-Day is a movement to end violence against women. I wrote this poem around the idea of tension. It is violent, and intense. Extreme. People go to extremes when they are in extreme situations I think. Thanks to Kali for her helpful edits.
You charge through the hallway and scream
“WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?
DID YOU PACK THAT BAG? AND WHERE
DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GONNA GO?”
I scurry back into the kitchen, suffocated
by the sudden humidity of your presence.
I look toward the window, at a bird sitting on the fence.
To open it would be useless; tension
does not flow towards lower pressure
“I’m leaving. And I’m taking the dog,” I whisper.
The room compresses. My breath escapes my mouth
but I hold back the words – the words I’ve held back
over years of taking your hits,
and fucks. Years of taking it whenever
you felt the need
You point your finger in my face and growl,
“You’re not going anywhere you stupid bitch.”
is when I reach
The words are pushing.
The rage is pushing.
“No.” With steady hands
I pull out the shotgun.
Years of fear have
compressed into these
“Baby, you can’t even kill a mouse.”
The room compresses again,
and the air pushes me forward
over the edge.
Bang bang fucking bang.