Danielle Perry

the solidity of matter is an illusion.
i am densely packed molecules
but i am not solid.
 
can i let go of this?
 
if i break down my ideas of boundaries
can i let you in?
 
your skin against mine, fleeting,
but we rub off on each other.
we have to.
for a millisecond – maybe less, maybe more,
we are combined.
 
it’s not sexual, necessarily,
but our flirting makes it so.
you press against me as we walk
and i press against you.
we are greedy for touch,
for the connection that it allows us.
 
at some sub-atomic level,
we have already had a communion.
we have exchanged electrons.
it should be so intimate:
and it is, and it isn’t.

 

 

 

 

 

The idea of revenge sits, like a crow
on a fence post, waiting. It wants
death and blood but if there’s no blood
then just death will do. It wants
a decaying body, a feast. It waits and
it has waited for years, while I suffered.

 

*

 

When I was a girl, I read voraciously
about the Morrigan: goddess of war / death / battle,
three in one / or one / or three.
I scribbled notes about her in a little book,
filled with a wanting I did not yet understand.

 

*

 

My body has always been assumed
to be weak, even while I have been lauded
for being emotionally strong.
This is what happens when I confess
what he has done to me: they tell me
how strong I am, and how brave I must be.
(But my body has always been stronger
than anyone has given it credit for.)

 

*

 

I wrote because I felt
that there was no other option;
I had no other voice.
Now I am encouraged to speak.

 

*

 

Speaking as a form of revenge
has a certain poetic justice to it;
after all, he silenced me and now
he will god-damned pay for it.
But it is not what the crow wants
(it is not what I want).
What we want is a body
to peck at, better if it’s bloody.

 

*

 

My body and my mind have both been
battlefields and war has been waged and I have
died many times over the course of my life.
I have become the Morrigan presiding
over all of it, terrible to behold.
Tripartite, alone, ferocious.

 

*

 

The idea of revenge sits, and waits.
It has the patience of a woman
who has spent ten years or more
slowly learning how to speak.
It flies over the battlefield, looking
for exactly the right opportunity,
and then it strikes.

 

 

warning: contents may explode under pressure

 

all throughout my girlhood i was told you are your mother’s daughter

as a way to dismiss my emotions. my mother said it too, you are my

daughter, but when she said it, it was an apology.

 

this is how i learned that emotions were undesirable.

 

*

 

i have always been hesitant around water

but once i take the plunge

i’m loathe to get out.

 

*

 

i learned how to bottle up my feelings like poison, though

never entirely. they still spilled out through my eyes

and i would apologize, knowing that they were too much.

 

i knew – no matter how hard anyone tried

to convince me otherwise – that they would push

everyone i loved away from me.

 

*

 

i went through all my teenage years, wanting and alone,

not believing i deserved love and still craving it.

 

my aloneness and my anxiety and my past

made me hesitant to be a girlfriend but once i

took the plunge i wanted nothing more.

 

*

 

my mother was born under the sign of cancer,

said to be the most emotional, a watery sign,

ruled by the moon, prone to nostalgia.

 

in astrology there is something called the imum coeli,

the place of greatest intimacy, the place of greatest vulnerability.

mine is in the sign of cancer.

 

i am my mother’s daughter.

 

 

 

 

 

i have wanted to be holy. that is: i have wanted to be whole, i have wanted to be healthy, i have wanted to be not-violated. there is also sin to consider, but not mine. (look at the sinless whore.) sins must be washed away in blood. (when she said blood i thought yes.) i will not ask for forgiveness; i cannot. there is nothing to forgive, only confronted. the path to holiness lies in transformation, and like all beginnings it must be spoken into existence.

 


Danielle Perry once answered the question “what was your favorite toy in childhood” with the answer “books.” She graduated with a degree in English Lit and Religious Studies from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. She now lives in Portland, OR, but will always be an East Coaster at heart. Her work has been published in The Toast, FLAPPERHOUSE, and Potluck Magazine, among others. Her chapbook Phases was published by Sad Spell Press in 2015.


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