Trigger warning: suicidal thoughts
You learned early to stand
next to the back door,
prepared to make a quick exit.
So many things could have triggered
that final flight--
the constant haystack
slumping your camel back
was so heavy.
Trigger warning: mild profanity and mentions of rape and violence
Most people wonder how I became Queen. How a cocoa coloured woman like me became the
ruler of a patriarchal, chauvinistic, post-colonial society? The truth?
I did it by killing.
One: A Made Woman
Gulf of Zula, Ethiopia
Several wars have raged between the Ethiopians and Arabs, leading to the seizure of the land by
the Arabs and enslavement of the native tribes.
I go to the gods every day.
I was raised that way after all. My whole life has always predetermined. Where I have been, has
never been a surprise and where I'm going is even less so.
Still though there are times I am content. I live a life of comfort and opulence. I can have
everything, well almost, everything I want.
I am a wife, a daughter in-law, friend, and one day, hopefully a mother. What more do I need?
I still go to the temple every day for hours.
When I was a child,
I used to sing to the sky,
I never thought anyone was listening,
Or that somewhere up there,
Leaning over too far
To hear, after too many beers,
Until he dropt
Face-first to the floor.
The pages they write
Will never tell of how I
Wiped cuts and scrapes
From your mass of shapes
Because it’s not a form
Trigger warning: mentions of blood
Every night I die and I am
I shred pieces of you
The ones you hate about yourself
It’s a painful metamorphosis
Shredding my feathers and fears
Bleeding you out
Droplets of blue
In the morning when
The dawn kisses the sky
And the morning birds hum
I am reborn again
I am whole again
I sing when the storm comes,
Because the fields and streams and wind farms
That fly past the window
Need to dance.
Everything becomes witchcraft
Where there is rain,
And on the other side of
The sky cries for me,
have you ever seen a butterfly
go on a rampage?
it’s a sight for sore eyes
or a sorry sight for sympathetic eyes
her picturesque wings fluttering
rapidly in the wind
her delicate body swaying
trashing to escape
and the giant roams
with his butterfly catchers
swatting, seizing, snatching
prying, abducting, invading
but if only the butterfly just submitted
accepted her inferiority
trusted the cycle of life
relished in how she was wanted
Being the age you were when we met,
brings me to the door of reflection.
A door that’s been locked for some time now.
to a dark room with cobwebs covering
your security and masculinity.
Tinted windows and empty walls.
I remember the shiny items you used
to lure me in here.
Now I understand why you pursued me,
reaching for any light to steal.
Humanity choked itself with its need to grow, simplify, and automate. The air filled with
acrid rain, polluting and stinging her exposed body. She suffered in silence, withering in agony,
trying to keep up with humanity’s quest to rule the planet. She tried so hard, sending out
warnings, but her body quaked, sending humanity’s buildings tumbling onto her back. Still, they
would not stop. Then, she retched scalding acid, it dripped down her bosom, and people fled
screaming. She coughed and choked, to no avail.
Gaea sucked in a long, desperate breath. With it, nature retreated into her body and
disappeared. Her skin cracked, and her tears ran dry. The people moaned, sobbed and pleaded to
their gods, whispering apologies and empty promises if only Gaea would return nature’s spirit.
Their pleas were unanswered. Gaea was finally at peace. All that remained was her devastated
carcass. Humanity fell. The prayers ended, and silence, emptiness, and nothingness replaced the
cries and prayers.
I must have been born with a vivid imagination and a creative nature that would ensure
reading had an overarching importance in my life. I read ‘Gone With The Wind’ for the first
time when I was eleven years old, and then reread it many times thereafter. Unfortunately for
my mother, I was a difficult breech birth: years later I would joke with her that the long and
challenging labour was due to me reading GWTW in the womb. “I should have had the
forethought to close that heavy tome as I made my way out into the real world,” I remarked
to Mom when home on a visit from the city, “but I was intensely engrossed in the burning of
Growing up in a large family, my sisters and I had a love-hate relationship, typical of many
children. I was a terrible tease with them; I was the proverbial thorn in their sides. However,
for the record they teased and taunted me too; in fact, they ganged up on me on many an
occasion, a middle child, and the only boy in a house full of sisters (several years later
another sister and finally a brother were born but were like a second family for my parents).
For example, they often insisted that I was adopted: making the best of a bad situation I
imagined there had been a mistake at the hospital between Prince Andrew and myself, and
my rightful and regal place was at Buckingham Palace in Jolly Olde England. As well, a
favourite trick of my sisters was to try to pull the towel off me that was wrapped around my
waist, when I was either on the way into the washroom to have a bath or on the way out. I
was mortified that my sisters would get sight of ‘the family jewels’, in all their glory and
It is generally known to be true that boys are testy and odorous little creatures, but girls are
just plain mean and spiteful when they have a bone to pick (and they don’t forget anything,
better than any elephant you may have met). When at our worst, we fought like cats and dogs,
enjoying every minute of our sibling-based battles; at our best, just have someone say
anything untoward about any one of us, and a line was drawn in the sand, the wagons were
put in a circle, and all artillery was pointing outward at the enemies. In short, may God have
Mercy on those children who had decided to pick on any one of the Potter brood. As siblings,
we were as thick as thieves, and sometimes did some good-natured thieving - seeing if we
could steal a chocolate bar from the candy counter at the town’s most popular restaurant-
coffee shop when the owner was busy at the cash register, just to prove a point. Even though
that woman kept an eagle eye on us, the hand is quicker than the eye!
Mother made the grass grow
Not the rain
Her hands nourished
What must be kept
& what must be scythed