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VOL 3: STILL HEALING


POETRY COLLECTION VOL 3: STILL HEALING SEPT 2019


04 Editor's Note 05 Olivia Delgado 09 Kyla Jamieson 12 M.G. Hughes 14 Jessica Cortivo 18 Kari Fisher 20 Nicky Cooper-Burrows 24 Elise Kelly 31 Shanae Elaine

VOL

3 34 Alyssa Cruz 36 Jessica Wilbert 39 Emily Degn 45 Elizabeth Parr 48 Amy Lundquist 50 liz kimball 54 Jes Brown McCutchen 57 Ashlee-Ann Sneller 60 Lauren Hemmel 63 Meet the Authors


P4

Dear readers,

Healing has always been an important subject to me and one of those words that is forever unraveling meaning. As a trauma survivor, I fought for healing from a young age, seeking refuge in language as a way to say the unsayable. I truly believe words, art, and embodying our stories can help us heal what's within us. For our 3rd poetry ebook on Still Healing–you will hear from roaring women sharing their unique voice and experiences of healing. Everything from mental health, sexual violence, postpartum, and many more. Please note that some of the material in this volume could be triggering for some. My hope, as always, is that when you read these stories you feel a little less alone in your own healing process. We had such an incredible response that we actually had to create two volumes from Still Healing. The next volume will be released in late October. Are you passionate about the work FWWR is doing? Please consider supporting through our Patreon–your contribution helps us continue with this amazing work. Thank you for writing, reading, and roaring with us,

Xo, Megan Febuary Editor-in-Chief


P5

Girlhood Written by: Olivia Delgado

We left our innocence in mud pies, jars of spring preserved for adornment on dewy stoned skies that twirled. The scope of canals traced when summer was a season left to hoard.  A bevy of dandelion weeds combed to our doily sleeved forecasts when we were little girls. The clouds could shake and still we’d land safely, cause we knew no etiquette to playing pretend.

SEPT 2019


P6

Womanhood Written by: Olivia Delgado

We left our bravery in mantras that deepen with growth. Arms that cradle and endure, bodies that cope. Strength that carries our survival. Our stories, amid generational shifts and varying histories becoming a cornerstone for female power. May we continue to break the molds that have been formed for us.  Our universally threaded voices left as artifacts reflecting all the marginalization women continue to overcome.

SEPT 2019


P7

Candy Lips Written by: Olivia Delgado

If you want me-Don’t provoke a smile just to please your fantasy for some wholly formed pleasant thing.There are days when my lashes spooled in black themes are not for your sake darling, but merely to hide graveyard shades from tired, teary eyes. Are they not bright enough for you? Don’t label me a bitch because my face which rests on thinning levels of contentment bores you.If interested catcalling won’t do. And you blind to the far reaches my life has held leading to that one day you caught me off guard when I was breakingTold me how I should look happy, act lively, be fascinating, sexy and appeasing. Fix what you found to be dull.I’m too exhausted to be anything other than what I am. And I’m learning that is more powerful than your definition of stunning.You could have just said hello.

SEPT 2019


P9

Trauma Response Written by: Kyla Jamieson

I don’t write poems Like I used to I don’t compose Sweet phrases In my mind instead I tell Myself over and over You’re okay it’s okay When the sun shines I tell myself You deserve this And when I feed myself Three meals a day You deserve this When I wash myself You deserve this When I lay down to rest You deserve this I’m okay you’re okay I think I could live Years and years Without writing Another poem All my language Directed towards This urgent and Unrushable aim.

SEPT 2019


P10

Note To Self Written by: Kyla Jamieson

I promise to care for you to support you to listen to you to respect you to prioritize you to love you to be gentle with you I promise

SEPT 2019


P12

The Seasoned Grieve Too Written by: M.G. Hughes

And on that December day in Southern California It wasn’t an ironic burst of chilly air that had stuck me See in Southern California the rumors are true:  Our winter, unlike their winter, died long ago  Therefore it was rather warm that afternoon as I stood on the porch  The sun sat heavy in the sky, looming over the water babies and adults at shore,  As the rest of us remained firmly bored in our tin roof houses  Even the gift-wrap seemed to be begging to be rid of  They had lost their sole purpose; their glamorous ring was now an annoyance  But truth be told, what had surprised me that day  Was how the oblivious coo of the season, The colorful street sights and bargain deal chimes, had suddenly lost its flicker  I’d held a mighty admiration for this and only this of the Christmas season  Maybe once, particularly during the time I was young, I got all big eyed for gifts  However as I grew older I found more appreciation in the sounds and sights That’s why, on that December day in Southern California, when someone  Very close to me had passed away it was only natural for me to assume  Autumn and winter would give up their charm and grieve along too  And maybe they do through mourning dove coos and the early morning rain

SEPT 2019


P14

Would You Be Less Threatened If I Were A Man? Written by: Jessica Cortivo

As a child, I yearned for books, became inspired by poetic language, went hiking with Shakespeare, discussed gender roles with Eleanor Roosevelt, sipped tea in a gothic mansion with Emily and Charlotte Bronte, consumed Greek Mythology –– imagined the backyard tree was Mount Olympus. My appetite fulfilled from feasting on stories, embracing strength through knowledge, drinking debate. Would you be less threatened if I were a male? I am the saxophone playing a tale of a woman who rode on motorcycles, jumped on the back of a moving truck, hung upside down while parasailing. I am a woman who can gulp down tequila, smashes glass, and has danced until the stars dragged me home.

SEPT 2019


P15

Would You Be Less Threatened If I Were A Man?

I am a wordsmith, a painter, a seeker, a spiritual spark, a woman whose heart has been consistently stitched back together, pain worn like armor –– wielding a sword. I am a woman with a moody melody, sometimes an angry angst, ambitious, earning college and graduate degrees, delivering the drive, debating to trigger thought, defying authoritarianism. I am a woman marching through the streets shouting “equality for all.” Would you be threatened if I made more money than you? Would you be less threatened if I were a man? I am a WOMAN who enjoys rumbling water dipped in crescent moonlight, drinking love’s lightning, smiling as I caress my body: petite, big-breasted, wide hips thunderous thighs, coffee eyes, berries in a chalice. Is my body with curves curling scary? Does it frighten you that I can moan with pleasure and pain? I stain my sheets with thorned roses once a month, can well up with desire, and have the capacity to hold a hearth.

SEPT 2019


P16

Would You Be Less Threatened If I Were A Man?

But my worth is not decided by a box, a dowery, a chastity belt, a role projected on me hundreds of years ago; before I was a concept, before I forged an identity. Would you be threatened if I declined being a mother? If I denied getting or staying married? I may be too much for some but am not too much for me. I am filled with salt and sugar, a compassionate capable crusader, a determined dancer, a firework waiting and willing to explode. Would you be less threatened if I were a man?

SEPT 2019


P18

At The End Of The Day Written by: Kari Fisher

At the end of the day you are folding towels in the basement with a seven-year-old when she tells you. You splinter in thirds. The first rises, hovers among pipes and furnace vents, watches as the second blankets her with arms. The words, apparitions: thank you for trusting me, it will be all right, it will never happen again. The third wails, belly down on the cement floor seemingly alone while the other two wait before they can climb the stairs with the girl and set right the world.

SEPT 2019


P 19

Still-life With Teen Son Written by: Kari Fisher

From your doorway I find you sleeping, headphoned, Still angelic and for a moment I’m almost converted to mute Angels, how they are drawn too often Without mouths Or shuddered eyes. As if we ignore the ones who came Between midnight and dawn Who said, ignore and marry, Go there, and even Get out now. I know what your father did at your age, how he carried bags of rice and beans twice the weight of his sister to the prison, how twice he jumped from conscription jeeps (once for each side), running until he couldn’t. After eighth grade, there was no school, but the jewelry factory, and each shift, he took home a mustard seed of gold. He, too, must have slept these same sleeps. How you both dream trauma, dream rifles as you run, the threat of a slap, and the bellow of angels.

SEPT 2019


P20

12:45 am Litany Written by: Kari Fisher

I want to shoot out these vague street lights, the solar-powered beams on boulders and house numbers. Who do we think we are? I’m too scattered and beat to travel the 14 suburbs from my house to yours. Know too well that I would snore on your sofa. There’s woodsmoke from bonfires and the weather’s crisp and fall and arms. Tomorrow you’ll work hard as any 40 year old cutting tree limbs and branches and mowing your acre. You call me dear and I call you honey, honey. How am I smitten with a leaf blaster?

SEPT 2019


Don't Lick Knives

P 22

Written by: Nicky Cooper-Burrows

The sadness is there are those who are taught as children that there is no place at the table just for them. There is no heart that all day, every day is serving up steaming, delicious spoonfuls of all a hungry heart would need. Love, they find, is something only taken as leftovers, crumbs fallen from a table, what a finger can wipe from a plate. What can be licked from a knife. And the thing is, spoons were made to feed. Knives were made to cut. When the only place you think you can find love is the edge of a knife you learn that to get love you must cut yourself open and it's taste is of blood. Let me tell you this precious girl, from someone who has thought that love must taste like steel and iron as that knife edge slices open my tongue, Love is never something to be begged for. Love wants to see you nurtured and healed. Love wants you to know that you come as you are to a table that will always be laid for you, that you don't have to compete for or earn, that never asks you to wait in shame under tables for what might fall but will never fill you And it never, ever asks you to wound yourself to get it There may be someone who comes along in your life. Someone who's table you want to sit at so much that for a while you think you're happy to wait until the meal is over. You even serve up every ladle full of love you've got for them. And they will even say I'm so sorry the knife is sharp which isn't the same as the knife is the very last place you will ever need to go for my love. I want you to promise me this. No matter how full of sorrow it will make you to walk away from that table where you so longed for there to be a seat, that you will. And you will find someone who wants to serve up equally big portions of ladled love made just for you. Don't you ever think that anything you could lick from a knife would ever fill your hungry heart. Don't you ever think that love should want you to bleed. Love, my darling girl, doesn't hurt. Love heals.

SEPT 2019


Another Broken Promise

P 24

Written by: Elise Kelly

When you cried in the chair and I sat on the floor I promised I would never write a poem about you You with the tears on the carpet and the hands in the pockets with the shoes too small and belly too big I liked the way you held me in your bear arms and your soft chest Context (noun) con·text | ˈkän-ˌtekst 1. the parts of a discourse that surround a word or passage and can throw light on its meaning 2. the interrelated conditions in which something exists or occurs 3. something all victims must provide in order to avoid being known as anything other than innocent

SEPT 2019


P 25

ANOTHER BROKEN PROMISE

Context: 1.Roommate’s boyfriend was in town for the weekend 2.You had a free bed 3.Free bed was taken by exhausted best friend 4.so we agreed I’d sleep with you instead 5.Nobody told me that night you were high I guess this should come as no surprise because nobody has ever liked to tell me these things— I’m a magnet for fake-sobriety— but I feel like I should have been notified before I went to bed with you You with your honey tongue I never kissed with your bear paws on my tits— I mean breasts I mean what words can you use to convince the assault office that you’re serious? because I said tits Should I have said breasts?— paws on my breasts while I’m asleep Me thinking it’s a dream Me waking up to you You with your hands slipped under my panties—underwear and

SEPT 2019


P 26

ANOTHER BROKEN PROMISE

I push your hands away but then they’re on my tits—no, breasts again and I can’t breathe so I turn to the side and your hands finally leave until they’re on your dick—no, crotch and you’re jacking off—I mean feeling yourself next to me and I cry silently then fall asleep and run away when the night becomes morning—mourning You who cried all the next day because you didn’t mean it because you thought I wanted it because I fuck everyone I see and I was looking at you You who said you were just like all the other fuck-boys in my poetry Me counter-arguing telling you to believe you’re a good guy while I held you while you cried

SEPT 2019


P 27

ANOTHER BROKEN PROMISE

I do not know if my indifference means that I do not care or that I care so much that my own body has shut me out Me reporting for no reason: “No, I don’t want to press charges” “No, I don’t think that he meant it” “No, I don’t need therapy No, neither does he” “No, I told my mom already” “No, I’ll find somewhere else to sleep” No (adverb) ˈnō 1. no but I didn’t say anything

SEPT 2019


P 28

The Truest Arsenal Written by: Elise Kelly

it is the first time i have visibly worn hair on my legs since i picked up a razor in the sixth grade for the spring formal where i wore shorts for the first time since elementary school when the boys called me bigfoot and asked me if i was secretly a man each time i came home in tears to my mother and begged her to teach me to use my father’s gillette all for nothing because i was just a little girl and shaving was for women it is the first time i have visibly worn hair on my legs since i picked up a razor

SEPT 2019


P 29

THE TRUEST ARSENAL

P 1P 17 i run my hands up and down my prickles and reckon I am more Samurai Sword than sasquatch I run my hands up and down my humble daggers and I know that This is what it means to be Woman

SEPT 2019


P 31

Rebuilding Home Written by: Shanae Elaine

Constantly in search For the words to express What this darkness Feels like, Becomes an exchange Of mute and desperate cries. Falling short In efforts of communication, I am lost Attempting to recover What was missed In the night. I did not know My demons and fears Entrenched my mind so deeply That being used to the pain Made it seem Like it didn’t exist at all. I was a fool When it comes to healing. I lacked sound judgment In times of chaos and pressure within – When for Her, I need to be standing Tall and fearless, I indulged to easily Into my sadness Rather than circumventing it With self-love and care, To live authentically in that quiet space of repair. They say hurt people Hurt people; And there are still drafts Coming through the cracks Of my heart, my home: The fire in me only smolders, As no flame can survive without air.

Since I have arrived back home, I am actively laboring To caulk the seams – Build new walls – To patch up the open wounds. I am adding bolts and locks To secure entry And maintain the happiness, Life and love, within. The future is the untold story Of time and moments to come. And I see myself Stronger than ever – Worth the broken bridges’ crosses, The arid moments, The lost cries, The dark days, The fear of letting go – She is worth being my very best for. I see love in myself And I will seek that love Even when others cannot stay to see. I cannot wait to see All that I am capable of in love. I cannot wait to see How beautiful my home Truly is.

SEPT 2019


P 32

My Heart's Design

SEPT 2019

Written by: Shanae Elaine

When will it be That you leave My heart? This is the taxing question Of grieving And of healing That I cannot seem To part. As I count The times more That I have asked you To stay Still more Your presence Has not granted me Such mercy. And when we do Cross paths How short-lived, How forced it feels To share that cold Glance from you, All the while My heart is a flutter Each, and every time. How can I know That you feel Me too? If every interaction Is sharp and calculated – Every way Against the way My heart’s designed?

Perhaps, that’s just it – Your heart does not beat Like mine, when our eyes lock; Yours isn’t red like mine, Warmed from the blood rushing to fill, When you are close to me. It does not sound like mine, As it builds stamina For the race To trace a mental picture Of our every moment. And no, yours Does not truly Feel what it’s like To love, unbounded. With the might Of my vulnerable heart I vow to remember Yours, just as it was So that it may recall Why it beats steady Without you.


P 34

Last Spring Written by: Alyssa Cruz

I met someone who wears your glasses— She closes my kitchen drawers when I’m tripping over untied laces on my way to the office I wake from dreams of you & your curly brown hair, to her fingers on my neck tracing just beneath my jaw She wonders if it was a nightmare from the thump thump of carotids & I worry my sleeping body is too tired to stifle the light from pocket-sized fires you set on every square inch of the garden I know her eyelashes, like broken blinds, do their best to block you out— but she knows how my neurons fold themselves in an armchair, facing out the window, waiting (a synapse is always all or nothing) to fire only at the snap of your fingers

SEPT 2019


P 35

If You'd Like To Come Back Written by: Alyssa Cruz

on a sunday afternoon, behind a blue curtain, water molecules tumble down around us like skydivers with one hand on the parachute, the other lonely for a serotonin to hold or maybe a dopamine would do, anything to not circle the drain beneath our feet solo— they’re welcome to try and wash all the oxytocin your curls didn’t mean to be home to, but what’s a shower head to a tsunami? I folded this flood in thirds, tucked it in my left pocket for safekeeping, because your hips are a softness my palms never knew how to pray for. and my dimples are hiding in a glass box, so you say “my naked body doesn’t usually illicit laughter, why won’t you kiss me?” and I pick the booger off your right cheek, watching your eyes move from my pointer finger to my pupils and back, before sighing to say “well. since that’s what’s stopping you,” you reach your left hand to my mouth “you’ve got a booger on your upper lip.”

SEPT 2019


P 37

The Problem With Poise Written by: Jessica Wilbert

Under your veneer of nice good responsible polite poised people-pleasing‌ lies a wild creature, fierce and hot and messy, glitteringly real, juicy with rawness, and an absolute fucking delight. Your job? Don’t abandon her. Pierce the veil. Let her out.

SEPT 2019


P 39

The System Written by: Emily Degn

Men always seem to feel that they can tell me what I want. I am dictated to by men, and am brainwashed daily to think that as a Woman, I have no right to my Own Body. These are their Shoulders. These are their Thighs. These are their Ovaries. I am immersed in patriarchy. Decisions are made on my behalf. I like to call these, Unmade Decisions. I keep casting votes for more Men in Charge because My Identity as a Woman is not even worth the regards of the Declaration. All men are created equal. In school I was tested on Middle-aged White-washed “truths�, and had to stand for a land that banned me from everything deemed Unalienable.

SEPT 2019


P 40

The System

I did this with my hand over my Woman Heart as I Pledged to a flag made by a Woman for men. I did this because I had to do this to graduate. I had to Pledge my Allegiance to a land of no Women, just so that I could get an education, and probably work in a dead-end occupation. It’s funny how I was told to be quiet until they needed me to sing Their Anthem. I am shaped on a conveyor belt of whatever the men think will serve them best. I fill in my wrinkles and cover the rest of my educated face, in order to stay On Air. I dye my moondust silver hair to match their blonde Centerfolds and other $19.95 Subscriptions. Meanwhile they grow gray. Meanwhile they get paid a dollar to my Feminine cents.

SEPT 2019


P 41

The System

They are passionate CEOs. I am a hysterical bitch who happens to be in charge. They tell me to think like a man, in order to act like a boss. My Womanhood and Woman thinking are things to apologize for, or not to use. My Body is Shame. Once a month, I am to hide that I use Tampons. I am told to hide my power that gave Them life, because it is gross; because My Gender is gross, until it is convenient. Movies devote two hours to boys’ Coming of Age, but do not engage in what it is actually like to be a Girl. A period comes during Our Coming of Age, and at the end of a sentence, but not after the end of the last movie trailer. Shame. Yet, I know that My Choice to wear less or to say more is not theirs to possess, but they don’t.

SEPT 2019


P 42

The System

I know that I am overlooked, underpaid, and held down far too often, but they don’t seem to care. I am every Daughter. I am every Mother. I am every Would-Be-president who is not on the final ballot because she ran like a girl, and because the Oval Office is a Boys Only Club. I am every Sister. I am every Would-Be-teacher who could not finish school because for the guys it was cool to harass me. I am every “victim” who had to choose whether or not to join MeToo not because it wasn’t me either, but because I hated The Stigma. I am every Female character who is simply called “the girl”. I am every Woman in the world who is still called a girl by men who think that they can diminish me.

SEPT 2019


P 43

The System

I am every Woman told to be a lady. I am every Woman who does not care because I cannot bare to be what they want anymore. I am every Woman who cannot fight The System anymore, because it is run by men for men; The System that underscores every Hurt that My Sex has ached.

SEPT 2019


P 45

I Am To Young For This Written by: Elizabeth Parr

I am raw, the layers of my skin have been erased, now I am stood, with a box of your ashes. The box is neat, but I am not, the features of my face are unimportant. I am too young for this, I am too young for this. When they put you in the ground, I want to come back and dig you up, I will make it look like I was never there, but I will have you with me always. I don't want you to be tied to this place forever, confined in a neat box, I want you to feel the fresh air, see the sky, see what we all become. I don't want to leave you here, I don't want to visit you, and be surrounded by death, I want you to hear the sounds of home, not the sound of strangers mourning, the smell of forgotten flowers, rotting in the breeze and turning to dust. The darkness clings to my back, like a child who is too tired to carry on, I have started to nurture the darkness, its weight doesn't feel so heavy now.

SEPT 2019


P 46

Pigment Written by: Elizabeth Parr

She holds her hands to her ears, she does not want to see, her mother's fear behind her, pale, ghostly, half gone already. Staring straight in front, not looking at her daughter, she cannot help. Her daughter draws a shadow back towards her. She has taken the blue, from her mother, and brought it into the red, alone. Nobody is comforting this child, she has been left, to comfort the comforter she is lost, hands push harder against her ears. Her mother is almost gone, fading into the bed, becoming an object. She feels guilty for the colour in her skin, the most colourful thing in the room, she can feel every pigment of it, it weighs heavy on her skin, she fears washing it away, her mothers last breath, from her skin.

SEPT 2019


P 48

Facebook Wants Me To Be Friends With My Rapist Written by: Amy Lundquist

After he raped me, I looked at him and promised myself that this was the last time I would ever have to see his face. But now, ten years later, Facebook wants me to know that I might know him, that we should connect, because mutual acquaintances  mean friends. I notice, in his profile picture, a small, petite blonde-haired little girl holding his hand. Eyes locked on the screen. Heart skips two beats. Every hair stands rigid. He has a daughter. I whisper a tiny prayer asking God, Universe, Mother Nature, Buddha, every higher power, that she—his daughter—  meets a generation of men that are leaps & bounds better than her own father.

SEPT 2019


P 50

Warrior Written by: Liz Kimball

Within you lives a warrior— may you know her. When despair feels as comfortable as the couch— When the voice in your head convinces your heart to power down And your artist to hang up the sign that says closed for business— It’s too rough out there and what difference do I make, anyway? May you remember that she lives at the intersection of LOVE and FIERCE and her google calendar is surprisingly open. Mighty, focused, determined— Her energy is boundless and her boundaries, infallible. She knows fear but does not let it lead. She sees obstacles as guideposts that say keep going not—throw the towel in. She protects the heart the artist and the tenderest places. She doesn’t just have your back She has your whole body. She doesn't care about likes and retweets She cares about what you stand for. When you shout enough she says we were born for this. When the fear revokes your voice and belittles your dreams she says Sister, I’ve got you— and suddenly you feel possible again.

SEPT 2019


P 51

WARRIOR

When you can’t stop the what ifs she says aren't you on Instagram? Less worrier, more of me, please. Warriors can be funny, too. she says. Within you lives a warrior— may you know her. Knowing her is revolution Knowing her defies what you were taught— not too big not too bright not too bold— and the code of obedience you were conditioned to follow. Knowing her proves the #realfact that you can be fire and water in one same breath. Within you lives a warrior who is ready to rise. I am the secret no one told you about. Call me every day. From the angry place— From the tender place. She says. Suddenly, you hear a yes from inside your bones. A yes inextricably your own An ancient yes that could change the world if only we each could hear it.

SEPT 2019


P 52

WARRIOR

You call her. You remember that collaboration is better than alone. You feel the strength you have been taught for centuries to forget. Nothing can stop us. you both say at the exact same minute— and you know this to be true.

SEPT 2019


P 54

Short Poems From Long Nights Postpartum Written by: Jes Brown McCutchen

8-2 The radio is caught Between two stations And also none Static matching The vibrations in my head The din of fear A half rain splatters And there are two of me Stopped and hydroplaning 9-25 I’ve always been a jaw flexer Stay up past my stirring Roll my nightmares around On my tongue until dawn Grinding teeth in naps at noon Now stumbling to cries at night Rolling choices obscure and abstract Because Half an answer in the night costs more 9-30 It is a 2.7 kilometer walk From my bed to the rocking chair Past corridors of ancestors Mother’s mother’s mother Whispering encouragement Drowned out by the crackle in my brain

SEPT 2019


P 55

SHORT POEMS FROM LONG NIGHTS POSTPARTUM

My body is a moisture farm It pulls water from every nook Compiles it into golden milk Sucks dry every other inch of ground The liquid is gone from the air And the space between my legs We move to the coolness Of the rocking room Negotiate the pros of sleep Settle on a course of action And in the swaying stillness We come to an agreement 9-28 I am a planner A researcher An organizer A curator of my own private Parenting reference collection At 2:16 a.m. this morning The baby set fire to my library Cackled And shit his pants 10-8 Oh how glamourous you felt Sobbing into your steering wheel Stopped next to the dunkin donuts delivery truck Because a mommy podcast said “good job�

Then there are the days When the monarchs migrate over our roof And he makes spice mixes That simmer chicken and sweet rice all afternoon While I dab blue paint on fairy wings And the baby sucks on his big toes Plump naked thighs stretching Toward the gently turning ceiling fan Doors open wide to the fresh breeze of autumn

SEPT 2019


P 57

Survivor Written by: Ashlee-Ann Sneller

When you realize you have been raped it will feel like someone has climbed  inside you and  gutted everything you are.  It will lay at your feet,  silent, and your skin will  split with grief. You will haphazardly grab this  unraveling skin and  wrap it back around you,  stuff the pile of all the things  that make you who you are  back into your stomach;  but none of it will sit  quite as it should,  none of it will fit  the same as it did. Then, you will cut away  these things, throw them  aside, you will erupt, volcanic,  and anger will pulse like lava  through your veins.  You will be reborn in red,  and when your anger fades  you will harden, protective,  and cradle yourself softly. Self-care will be a billowing smoke  that surrounds you, and even then,  you will burn with the cauldron  of emotions inside  the very heart of you.

SEPT 2019


P 58

SURVIVOR

When you tell yourself you have been raped,  it will seem like  something too huge to process  and break down –  you will break  down  multiple times,  before you find  who you are again,  before your skin seems  to sit as it should.  Your nerves will be  popping rocks,  and your face will  fall ashen. In the midst  of all this change,  you will come away  hardened, but new.  You will step away  from the things you left,  and walk empty,  gutted – finding different things  to fill you,  searching for things  anew  for your new self. You will become someone else,  and you will be a  power  unto anything else.

SEPT 2019


P 59

Still Healing Written by: Ashlee-Ann Sneller

tell yourself you’re okay/ eat the lie and let it digest/ stomach stumbling like that night/ throw-up the truth/ taste the acidity like straight vodka/ you had whiskey that night too/ and self-blame is a skin-tight dress/ you wear every day since then/ you can tell yourself it was consensual/ but this thought will haunt you/ stalk every move like a shadow/ the ghost of the past/ will be a second skin/ that won’t fit right on you/ like how that experience/ doesn’t sit quite as it should/ doesn’t feel like how you explained it/ at first/ because you pretend/ always pretending/ safety is a vomit-bag/ you carry like a hand-bag/ this is not life/ your heart tells you/ that wasn’t okay/ it’ll scream/ and even then/ you’ll betray your own body/ because what’s one more time/ if you don’t have to face/ the horror/ of memories you can never/ change.

SEPT 2019


P 60

Ending of Air Written by: Lauren Hummel

this ship is a seesaw seas and suns, plastics and mines sleep on a bed of celestials dead, die, too much rainwater trickle lit by earthshine only crave a dark side it’s a tropical year, i cough when i skim the water withhold your wounds from me, she hisses tusks and hides are currency to buy juicy meat inside, but it is dust where are we on the decaying map? where is the next star? if i touched you right now, toxicity would sprout bow to stern drift on bulging tides, gorging lakes hands slapping and cries pleading to board touch the shore, catch the fire you can never leave this ship

SEPT 2019


P 61

A Lesson In Love From My Shadow Mother Written by: Lauren Hummel

mother wrote a book that i cannot read the words are on the page but they make up complex questions philosophical qualms and quandaries that only she would understand pages of art contained within the spine i am thirsty for more water of her a shadow within me, next to me the salt on my lips drags across each page i turn arms tick the clock, i appeared my hand i feel she is ready to confess to me more it is the history of her life, a chronicle of breaths a beautiful art piece on the cover i found the painting downtown on the side of a skyscraper a masterpiece of abstract impressions of blues: cyan and thato and prussian she was here, but is gone, she was here and i am alone or is this book my coward soul? she hated skyscrapers, why would she paint there the fall to her death from the fourteenth floor was devised in her hospital bed after the pain killers and pain givers with names no one could pronounce sent through a plastic pipeline into her wrist, what did they do to her weakened body cuts of hallucinations made lying down where she braided her elbows and the remainder of her organs blades of grass melded to blades of blood she wrote a poem i didn’t understand before the sickness, and after, that was the account told she spoke it to me in shakespearean rhyme or at least i couldn’t understand because i couldn’t detect the split of her in her identity because i was masking my own calving from her as mother and daughter do, the masculine from the feminine a beam from the shadow severed her personality, a signal was sent to make a black hole in her torso

SEPT 2019


P 62

A Lesson In Love From My Shadow Mother

in my dream my mother wrote a book i couldn’t read about lives undiscovered, of art she had smeared with her pinkies, of divine wisdom that was found in an induced coma she had more to share with me, but had no language. so she birthed one to understand the wounded feminine within the words and letters and idioms and vowels and propositions are my meals delicious chocolate cake and banana bread and lasagna and cheese muffins to fill the swollen belly that has moved from her body to the ventricles of my heart her giving is the dissolution of her body i torn through the book maybe i could find one phrase that would make sense but none existed but this book exists that means i was loved by her, full of her love her kingdom of heaven is within me, residing in a chamber that i have yet to find she was a book i could not read and i cannot read now she is ash in the earth, the pulp of her pages sent up in a fiery light

SEPT 2019


Meet The Poets JESSICA CORTIVO Jessica Cortivo is a proud feminist unapologetically roaring! She is a multifaceted person who enjoys creative writing, acting, dancing, and painting. She considers herself fortunate to have married a soul mate. Both her and her husband strive to be supportive of each other and they share a love for storytelling.

M.G. HUGHES M. G. Hughes is a published poet, essayist, and novelist. Born and raised in San Diego County, since 2018 Hughes has been featured in various publications, including 5 magazines and 1 anthology. In 2019, M. G. Hughes also created and continues to host a weekly interview series called Ode to Virtuoso, an interview series where emerging artists are interviewed about their creative roots. At the moment Hughes is in the process of pitching her first poetry collection to agents.

KYLA JAMIESON Kyla Jamieson is a poet, writer, and editor who lives and relies on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, SḾwxwú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. She is the author of the poetry chapbook Kind of Animal (Rahila's Ghost Press, Spring 2019), which documents the aftermath of a brain injury. Her first book of poems, Body Count, is forthcoming with Nightwood Editions in Spring 2020. Find her on instagram as @airymeantime or on a rock next to a river.

EMILY IRIS DEGN Emily Iris Degn is a professional writer and rising poet, living in the mountains of Salem, Virginia. She is an environmental and gender equality activist, and focuses her creative work on those issues as a proud ecofeminist. She has traveled extensively through every state in the United States of America, and enjoys discovering new and natural places.

jESSICA WILBERT Jessica Wilbert is a writer, former teacher, and dancing poet. She is healed by solo walks in the San Diego sunshine, meditating, dancing, and myriad seeker tools for growth. She blogs at kindredseekers.com.

ASHLEE-ANN SNELLER Ashlee-Ann Sneller has a pen stitched into her hand and ink in her irises. Inbetween writing poetry and reliving her past, she petitions her manager to fund a therapy goat. Ashlee-Ann has been published in places like Fast Fibres Poetry, Turbine, Takahe Magazine, and was shortlisted in the top ten for the Divine Muses Poetry Award.

JESS HESS Jess Hess was born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but has spent the last three years in Nashville, Tennessee working on an album and learning about adulthood. She has never been published professionally, largely due to her concentration and dedication to music for most of her life. Recently, she has recognized an even greater passion inside of her for writing poetry, and has been trying to strengthen her writing and pursue publication.


LIZ KIMBALL Liz Kimball is a relentless enthusiast, speaker, performance and creativity coach, and founder of The Collective for Women Creators. She writes about radical creativity, having nonlinear ducks, and creating a future we can't wait to wake up to. Join the conversation at lizkimball.com and on Instagram @lizkimball.

AMY LUNQUIST Amy Lundquist studied Creative Writing, English, and Publishing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Currently, her life runs on books, tattoos, black coffee, and episodes of Law & Order. She resides in St. Paul, MN with her husband, two dogs, three cats, and four foster kittens.

MARION HENSON Marion Henson is a wife, mother of three and Cofounder (Flora & Fauna & Good Juu Juu) who recently returned to my first love, writing. She uses words to break cycles, heal and motivate. She received a BA in English with a minor in Women's studies and an MS in Digital Marketing. Her poem was published in the Phoenix Literary Magazine at the College of New Rochelle. She is currently working on her debut book.

KARI FISHER Kari Fisher is a single parent, living out the remainder of a penal sentence in suburbia, and plotting the family escape to St. Paul, Minnesota. She teaches. She resists. She writes. She wishes she did more and didn't use so many pronouns. She has an MFA from Rainier Writing Workshop.

OLIVIA DELGADO Olivia Delgado is a Creative Writing/English major at Southern New Hampshire University. Her work has been published in the Texas Anthology, A Celebration of Young Poets, the anthology Hidden Lights, and the online journals The Junction and The Penmen Review. She currently resides in her home state of Texas where she works on crafting new poems and short stories. She aspires to teach writing therapy in the future.

ELISE KELLY Elise Kelly is a Creative Writing major at Bard College at Simon's Rock. She swept the poetry category of the 2019 Leslie Sander's Writing Contest, is a winner of a Silver Key for her poem, "For the Pickpocket", and collection, "Mania", in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and has a published poem in the Catalyst literary magazine. Elise enjoys writing minimalist poetry most, but she also plays with fiction, spoken word, and experimental literature.

LAUREN HUMMEL Lauren Hummel is an emerging writer with an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Toronto. She recently received a Masters of Arts with distinction in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Gloucestershire. Her first published pieces are forthcoming in the Evansville Review and Heritage: New Writing VIII Anthology. She lives in Toronto, Canada.


ALYSSA CRUZ Alyssa Cruz is a Filipina-American poet, born and raised in the suburbs of the Pacific Northwest. When she isn’t analyzing healthcare data or browsing infographics, you can find her at a happy hour, daydreaming, writing poetry, or all three at once. Her work has appeared in Bricolage & The Atlanta Review. She lives in Seattle, WA with her puppy Berkeley.

NICKY COOPER-BURROWS Nicky Cooper-Burrows lives is Birmingham, England with her 6 year old daughter. She wrote the poem for her. She left teaching last year to start work with a charity working with vulnerable women, whom many are victims or survivors of Domestic Violence. She is grateful to be able to share her own journey of healing from a violent relationship and begin to live a happy and healthy life.

SHANAE ELAINE Shane Elaine is a Poet, memoirist, activist and professional dancer of Nan Nkama Dance Ensemble (Jacksonville, FL), Shanae’s work allows her to show up as the heroine in her own story. You can find her work on IG at @atimeofvirago.


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Vol 3: Still Healing  

The amazing Vol 3: Still Healing Poetry ebook is here and is so incredibly powerful. Dive into the brave and beautiful words of women sharin...

Vol 3: Still Healing  

The amazing Vol 3: Still Healing Poetry ebook is here and is so incredibly powerful. Dive into the brave and beautiful words of women sharin...

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