empathy

A POEM FOR MEN WHO THINK THEY CAN’T HANDLE WOMEN, YES YOU CAN

Artwork by  Sergio Martinez

Artwork by Sergio Martinez


Some of us women
Have snakes for tongues.
They dart in and out of painted mouths
Scarlet stained teeth gleam and the serpents flicker
In and out
In and out
Venom drips
Sizzling sentences and burning holes through parchment papers
That hold the world view for women:
What we must do
How we must dress
What me must and mustn’t say
How we’re too much or too less or too something
Putrefying verbal cues
Curving around appropriateness
As snakes are wont to do
Destruction doesn’t always signify endings though
The poison seeps in deeper and deeper
And we continue to work our sensuous charm
Destruction doesn’t always signify endings
Destruction cleanses
Creates and restores
We don’t just stop at surface wounds with our destruction
We obliterate everything in our wake
And shake the foundations of your very being:
Everything that stands between us, embracing the very essence of womanhood
And we sin
We sin, if sinning is frankness
We sin, if sinning is boldness
We sin, if sinning is carnal pleasure
We sin, if sinning is free will
We sin, if sinning is breaking free
We will continue to sin for the rest of eternity
Snakes shed skin every so often, didn’t you know that?
And we do the same
We rise out of the ashes of the stereotypes that you force on us
And we work our venom on the necrosis and sham of societal properness
Some of us women
Have snakes for tongues
(And we wouldn’t change that for anything in the world).

Tanvi Denshmuck