“Tonight” by Vivian Underhill


Tonight, I snuck out

And I’m howling at the moon

I am hollering asphalted bloody

Bloody

Murder

 

For all the women whose weight drags heavy on their hearts

Whose bodies are not theirs

Whose minds are nowhere near

For all the women who, tonight, are curled up in bed

Fetal position paralyzed,

Cradling wounds like newborn babies

For days

And days

 

We are everywhere

But we are nowhere to be found.

Cry for us.

 

Cry.

 

For all the times our lovers’ hands feel like cattle prods

And us the cured-beef aftermath

Of someone else’s slaughter

 

For all the blank stares and empty eyes

Numb mouths and hollow tongues

The shoulders hunched and

Bellies

Too fragile

To stand against the world.

 

We are everywhere.

 

Some nights we are splayed out flat

Flayed into ribbons

Cut and dried into bite-sized bits.

 

Some nights all we can do is steel-wool the counters

And swear never to give birth.

 

Some nights we can’t ignore the leprosy

Root it out with plastic forks that snap off at the handle -

Quietly

In the bathroom

So as not to cause a scene.

 

For us, a red sash will always mean blood

And with time comes only distance, not relief

For us, Chanel will never overpower the scent of sin

And the aroma of violence sits heavy in our throats

 

For us, grief will always taste like iron.

 

It’s not every month –

Not on the dot –

Not when we’ve bought so many happy mornings after

The pharmacist knows us by name.

 

We no longer wear white pants.

 

We can no longer sleep alone.

 

We ask the circles under each others’ eyes:

What would you –

What could you –

What could I

Have done

Different?

Where did I go wrong?

 

 

 

 

 

Vivian Underhill lives in the mountains of Colorado and spends most of her time outside. She’s had words knocking about in her head since she can remember, and being an introvert, the written word has always been her favorite mode of communication. She loves snow, dark coffee, and feminism. vivianunderhill.wordpress.com