Questions that keep me up at night

So, it’s 1am and I can’t sleep. Rather than toss and turn I decided to get up and work on a phrase that was rattling around my brain. This is very unpolished…

Seriously, where do I put that?
What do I do with everything I know?
Where do I put the specific details of each transgression?
All those things that have lurked in the shadows
Of my recollection?

What do I do with all the voices I've heard
Repeating with monotonous regularity
All different, except the same (word for word):
The cat-calling, assaults, disparity.

What do I do with all the brewing anger I feel
After a lifetime of patriarchal control?
How do I keep it bottled, under the seal
And not allow a magma-like vent of vitriol?

And how do I escape the sense that I could get PTSD
From Crime Time TV, another female corpse in the opening scene.
Maintaining constant situational awareness, especially on the periphery
And knowing how to carry my keys.
Where I am supposed to park the thousand cuts
So that I can remember to smile?
Maybe my exhaustion won't show if I mask up,
In all honesty, that would take a while.

Where would be the best locality?
Am I supposed to let it eat me from the inside out?
So I move through stages of hunger, hollowness and finally invisibility?
If there's no energy will there be less to think about?

Where do I put everything I can't let slide
When it feels like I'm standing in the middle of a battlefield:
The evil twins of toxic masculinity and toxic femininity on one side
And on the other - Liberty, she's holding a broken sword and a rusty shield.

So seriously, where do I put that?
Photo by Flavia Jacquier on

Postscript: It was Suffrage Day in New Zealand on 19 September. In 1893, New Zealand became the first nation in the world in which male politicians granted women over the age of 21 the right to vote. It took 26 years to get the first woman elected to the NZ parliament. There are still many battles to win (or win again if you live in Texas) in order to achieve equality and justice for all.

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