I am home. Sun kissed free. Wild heart dancing. Breathing in out. Warm winds play. About my face. In my hair. Caress my body. Here I am.
Staring fixed fast. Who is she? The mirror tells. The only truth. I keep looking. Seeing a/not-her. There is way. Too much body. My breath holds.
In that moment. Who can say. How when why. The wind turns. Sour not sweet. Away from where. I might find. A/not-her she. Becomes my shadow.
My face crumples. My hair splits. My body shrinks. To almost nothing. My heart stops. Wanting to beat. And falls down. Cracked forever apart. At the bottom
I am cold. My bones frozen. Raw and brittle. A hollow shell. And decide to. Keep good company. With a girl. Too far gone. In this moment.
I crouch down. Scraping and scratching. The dead earth. A desperate search. That yields more. Of the same. Why can’t I? Find the words? To write her?
Around the world. Women are hiding. In private away. From the mirror. On one hand. Who’s the monster? She screams back. Not pretty enough. Never ever enough.
All the while. On the other. Women devour greedily. A body logic. A skin pedagogy. Patriarchy feeds her. His meat only. Passes her lips. She sucks dutifully.
Waxed on and. Worked up into. Shrinking down down. Tucking this in. Smoothing that out. Dollar after dollar. Leaves her pockets. Souls skeletal bare. To become equal.
Women must pay. His rage rants. Vowing to slay. The laughing Medusa. Punch in face. Bruises on lips. Bodies damaged raped. More now over. And over again.
Back to the kitchen. The iron press. One for husband. One for country. One for world peace. A woman’s place. Sit down quiet. No brain there. Just kiss me.
A thank you. Would be enough. When words struggle. A woman knows. Hers don’t count. Won’t count until. She returns to. The mirror that. Defines her dead.
Anorexic middle aged. Hiding in shadow. No one knows. Why how many. 15% of women. Have it and. Hide it in. Secret and silence. Wasting and waiting.
The unbearable weight. Is it mothering? Her shoulders shrug. Is it father? Her skin sags. Is it society? Her bones shatter. Is it patriarchy? Yes, she sighs.
Bodies of women. Are comprised now. In their teens. Decades of recovery. Always in remission. Trying to control. Hold on tight. To a handle. That never was.
The doctor says. No normality here. Habit dies hard. Carve out time. Difficult to break. Hard to care. Does anyone anyway? She walks on. Help is nowhere.
More scared to. Try to heal. Where is she. If not trapped. In her body. No way out. She doesn’t want. To find exit. Out of here.
A death sentence. Awaits her there. They don’t care. We don’t care. She doesn’t care. Leave her alone. Her broken apart. With wings spread. She flys away.
3 thoughts on “Just three words: Writing with Laurel Richardson”
Beautifully devastating writing.
We must learn. Love women’s bodies. Especially our own. Or we’ll die. Without having lived.
Thank you for your three worded response K – a gift. When Cixous said, write your body, I soon realised how disconnected I was. I’m still trying to make the connection one of love.
Wow, Liz. i don’t know how i missed this powerful piece! Thank you so much.
i am inspired.
to write self.
to write other.
to write world.
Just write! Just write! Just write! said my beautiful friend as i drowned in sorrow and silence xxx