my body is not a gift i can wrap up
in generous boxes and flimsy paper that reads ‘I LOVE YOU’
tie it down with a ribbon into a bow
and wait for it to be torn by prying hands
on a birthday.

my body is not an offering.
i cannot give it to you. you cannot take it from me.
i can’t make it open; it’s not a hinged door.
i can’t make it behave agreeably
lay down silently to be worked by your plundering limbs.

my body is not a field you need to crop to satisfy your hunger.
you cannot dig it, or weed it, or harvest it.
you can’t half-heartedly fumble with your careless hands
and blame it for being dry, unyielding, unforgiving
like it’s a patch of dust that needs to be watered.

my body is not a road you can travel;
nor a tunnel or a two way street.
you cannot walk on it.
you cannot pass through it.
you cannot pound on it endlessly
and expect to return on it.

my body bruises.
my body bleeds.
my body breaks.
my body grows poison.
my body leaves.
my body opens.
my body closes.
my body goes incognito.
my body’s ice.
my body’s fire.
my body births.
my body feeds.
my body’s star and moon and sun and earth.
my body is a galaxy you’ll need a body map to read it.

my body does not want your body.
my body is not up for possession, or negotiation, or persuasion, or permission.
my body does not want your body.
how is that not clear enough?

©Tsion B., 2017


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