men.

“Flower” — Illustration by Caitlin Johnstone

they lined up to punch and kick my flower

took turns politely like good little boys
with nice clean hands

it’s your turn my good man
after you sir you were here first
no no i insist
oh you are too kind

then set upon me like wolves
like apes

funneled my flesh through the secret screams of their mothers
their poor mothers who still wake up early
to put on makeup so they don’t disgust their husbands

they sowed my soil with salt before my flower could bloom
then asked why i’m not like the on-screen nakeds
with sperm on their faces like war paint on the fallen

tell me i should enjoy myself more
like the ones they shat out before me

i don’t know what’s wrong with this one
he told the next in line
maybe her mother dropped her on her head

i held my dead flower in my eyes and wept
while making lunch wraps for the children

mowgli was raised by wolves
they taught him to run and to hunt

tarzan was raised by apes
they taught him to climb and to swing

i was raised by men
and they taught me to hate my sisters

but the wind is changing
and the earth has been shaken
and there is a new topsoil now

as we kneel together
watching the sprouts emerge
we hold hands

— — —

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