Home // July.21.2017 // Joanna C. Valente


Everyone Wants To Be Somebody’s Gatekeeper

we will taste each other’s ashes,
you said. the name witch never was
quite right. we were never right.

our love was never right. our bodies
were never right. real names
were not for us, we were told.

they came after us, their skin so white,
they are ghosts

not even witches, they have no real
power, just ghosts absent of some kind
of meaning.

there are no witches, just poor people

who are tired of their bodies
being weighed down by rocks
by those who see them as animals without

anything but meat and blood and rot
inside them—the kind they are not.
the other kind.

why instigate a need to suffer? besides

the power you work so hard for—
that no one ever gets, just pretends to have.



Banner graphic source: Scan (cropped) of a photogravure by Eadweard Muybridge showing a woman brushing her hair, 1887. From the collection of the University of Pennsylvania, via Wikimedia. In the public domain.

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