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I want to tell her the things
I'll tell her when she’s older,
but the information terrifies her.

In order of importance:
she has luna moths in her head,
monarch butterflies in her stomach,
and a feral fetus in her womb.

Her hands
are collapse-clasped and folded
in her lap;
she holds her elbows like wings
away from her ribs,
ready to flap,
to flutter,
to fly.

I want to tell her
to keep one hand in her purse
so she can always find her keys,
to keep an eye on the door
and the door always open
so she can run if she doesn't feel safe,
but her cheeks are rorschach-splotch red
and the tension in her shoulders
warns me she's not ready
to hear this.

And there is the possibility that
maybe I’m not ready to tell
this fourteen-year-old
now woman,

I’m just as devastated as her;
that she is surrounded by friends and family
who are violated by a community
where no man can say yes all men.
Another collaboration with the great TwilightPoetess. We started with some positive material but when it came to me to write the introductory lines, the poem took a dark but phenomenal turn on a topic that is always in need of being discussed. We aimed for some important subject matter to talk about (rape culture).

In the poem, if it isn't clear, the narrator is wanting to help and comfort her and she is actively pushing these things away because of her trauma. It is what happens, unfortunately I know. But that's what me and TwilightPoetess were hoping for, was to show that it devastates her on a horrendous level to the point that people around her are violated.

This piece is somewhat of a personal experience to me, I've written about it before here: when I was in a psych unit in my youth a girl in a therapy session had a breakdown and told the story of how she was lured by a man into being raped. And I just couldn't react, it's a hard thing to explain being so angry that someone was violated in such a way and knowing that that person was still walking the streets even though he had been identified as her rapist. It was a horrible thing to hear, and after the group therapy session was over I was so tense from anger and disbelief and shock I had to be talked into moving.  People don't understand that when someone is violated, everybody around them becomes violated in some way too.


Give her version some attention:

Things I would Tell Her--C.I want to tell her things
I'll tell her when she’s older,
but the information terrifies her.
In order of importance:
she has luna moths in her head,
monarch butterflies in her stomach,
and a feral fetus in her womb.
Her hands
are collapse-clasped and folded
in her lap;
she holds her elbows like wings
away from her ribs,
ready to flap,
to flutter,
to fly.
I want to tell her
to keep one hand in her purse
so she can always find her keys,
to keep an eye on the door
and the door always open
so she can run if she doesn't feel safe,
but her cheeks are rorschach-splotch red
and the tension in her shoulders
warns me she's not ready
to hear this.
And there is the possibility that
maybe I’m not ready to tell
this fourteen-year-old
now woman,
I’m just as devastated as her;
that she is surrounded by friends and family
who are violated by a community
where no man can say yes all men.


As TwilightPoetess said, "This is a rather deep and touchy subject; I'd appreciate it if you all keep any drama out of the comments. If you're going to comment or argue or whatever, don't ATTACK people with your words please. Keep it cool, okay? Heart"
Add a Comment:
 
:iconeqlrytes:
eqlrytes Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2014
You have been featured here:  eqlrytes.deviantart.com/journa…
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:iconcallerofcrows:
callerofcrows Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Reads like a punch in the gut. I love your poem, but I wish that the utter travesty behind it never happened. 
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:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:hug:
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:iconsammur-amat:
Sammur-amat Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014   General Artist
ALL THE FEELS AGFSHGSHGFA :heart: :heart: :heart:
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:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:heart:
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:iconstormbringer23:
StormBringer23 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014
Yeah, I've read, and reread, unsure of how to appreciate it. Though I do, I can't say why.

Because I just can't.

I grew up with a borrowed Mother, who always warned us, last thing out the door; If in doubt, run. I'm still here because of her.

Thanks you two.
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:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Glad you are. :) Thank you.
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:iconintroverted-ghost:
introverted-ghost Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2014   Writer
This is beautiful. :heart:
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:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I'm glad you think so. :heart:
Reply
:iconintroverted-ghost:
introverted-ghost Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2014   Writer
:tighthug:
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:iconcamelopardalisinblue:
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Perfect, both of you.
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:heart:
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:heart: Do you mind if I feature this comment?
Reply
:iconsurrealcachinnation:
SurrealCachinnation Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2014   Writer
*Incredibly flattered*  Of course I don't mind!
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:hug: Thank you for letting me.
Reply
:iconsurrealcachinnation:
SurrealCachinnation Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2014   Writer
Sure thing.  :huggle:
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:iconnemox7:
NemoX7 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2014   Writer
Shocking in it's inspiration, but I applaud you both for daring to write this poignant piece. Truly rape is the worst act, barring murder, that any man or woman can commit. To treat a fellow human in this manner leaves me physically sick. There is no cause for it. Again thank you for writing what many would find difficult to get right. You both tackle the subject with respect and care; which reflects off the poem itself. :rose:
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:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for reading and letting us know you appreciated it. :heart:
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:iconnemox7:
NemoX7 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2014   Writer
You're welcome. :rose: It was my pleasure as a reader to digest your poem and subsequently share my appreciation for it. :nod:
Reply
:iconartcrusade:
ArtCrusade Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
A very touchy subject, but the way this poem was writ is simply fantastic. A great work, so kudos to both of you for writing it.
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:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:heart:
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:iconblacksand459:
Blacksand459 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow. I am far too familiar with this subject myself, as a close relative of mine was raped and molested by her step-father, from about 8 years old to about 12 or so. He's serving a twenty year sentence, but he should have been immediately put to death, in my opinion. 

(This may be a little off the main subject here, but I am heartily in favor of capital punishment for sexual offenders. Forget rehabilitation or anything. They were aware of what they did, it was not consensual, and so they deserve death.) 

Things can be so outrageous, so defiled, so catastrophic, that they become surreal, almost not part of reality. Because certain acts are so repulsive that the sane mind cannot properly process them. 

As to your poem, is the narrator trying to talk to her about something that already happened, or trying to warn her about what may happen?
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:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Something that already happened. And I'm sorry to hear that. I'm not sure I have an opinion either way when it comes to the death penalty but I sure wish we had a better solution than giving criminals room and board.
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:iconhaphazardmelody:
haphazardmelody Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I'm not really sure what to say here. This is amazingly done. This hits really close to home for me, so maybe that's why I don't know exactly how to express a reaction. :heart:
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:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:heart: I'm sad to hear that. But I hope this poem helps in a way.
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:icondragoeniex:
dragoeniex Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
Sad, but well-written. I am a bit confused about the last line, though. What does it mean?
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Hmm, maybe the last line could be made clearer? Not sure how yet, but this is what the last line is talking about:

The last line of the poem is significant because of its use of two phrases. There's a common phrase men say that goes "not all men are..." and came about as a response to the feminist movement (though very recently). Earlier this year there was a shooting spree where a Men's Rights Activist killed and injured several people, and his reasoning for doing so was that women didn't pay attention to him and wouldn't have sex with him, among other sexist beliefs. This prompted an entire response to his words and actions from women and men alike, and a phrase emerged used by women who argued with men saying "not all men". The opposite phrase used was, "Yes all women". The significance of the phrase being that all women have to treat every random man as if he is a danger to them, regardless if "not all men" are dangerous. So the last line refers to those two phrases and twists them a bit to make a statement about how the narrator as a man can't even help or comfort her because we as men are forced to say "not all men will hurt you" instead of what we as men should be able to say: "yes men won't hurt you".
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:icondragoeniex:
dragoeniex Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
Whoops. I'll admit, I'm not terribly well-versed on anything to do with the Men's Rights Activists or resulting responses. *needs to do her research more often* Thank you for elaborating.

I got confused because I'm used to "all men" as a prayer ending. (I use "Amen," but I'm not sure which is more common.) So I was trying to figure out if the ending was saying something about religion. But that didn't make sense, since the rest of the poem didn't really tie into that.

So. Going back to the rest of the poem...

I like the way you use imagery. There are some unique comparisons, and the ready-to-bolt girl comes across very clearly. Poor thing.
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:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Oh I see. I'm not particularly caught up on the news but that incident stirred up a lot of unsaid feelings and was quite the news story for a while.

That particular image you mention was written by TwilightPoetess, this was a collaborative piece between me and her, just in case I hadn't mentioned that.
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:iconblueyoda7291:
blueyoda7291 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
that was amazing omg
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:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:heart: I'm glad it could be an amazing read for you. Anything you like best?
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:iconblueyoda7291:
blueyoda7291 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
the ending, mostly  
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:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:heart:
Reply
:iconshep4life:
shep4life Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Well done...expressed very good for the subject matter
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
*very well. ;)

And I'm glad you liked it. Make sure to show Beth's post some love. :heart:
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:iconshep4life:
shep4life Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah! Oh I showed her love as well
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:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:heart:
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:iconwhitefoxfarm:
WhiteFoxFarm Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad to see something like this being written because I am tired of people joking about rape like it's not something that actually happens in real life.  I know some people use humor to deal with things, but I find it extremely disrespectful to people who have actually had these things happen to carry on in front of them (or on the internet) like it's funny.  Like, lol it's just sex and sex is fun!  Who wouldn't like being raped?  Blah blah blah.  Some if it is from trolls who want to get people upset, but a lot of the comments come from teenagers who apparently don't yet understand what it is or what the consequences are and that it isn't funny.

And I know some of the ones playing it off like nothing are the victims themselves, hoping if they laugh about it nobody will know the truth, etc.  But to me there's just no excuse for joking about something like that.  It's not funny, no matter what your reasons are.
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:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
It's weird, for some it's a social norm to say, that is until it happens to or close to them. Personally I have to adjust, my guy friends use it all the time in casual conversation and that's something I can't change about them. Doesn't mean I use it, but that I wouldn't react like it was the wrong term to use, which may be the wrong action of me to take, but remember I don't see these guys changing their language any time soon.

However, outside of my circle of friends I always make it a point to get people to question what they say. For instance, I have an acquaintance who has a habit of saying "[blanked] in the xD". He literally says that, pronouncing the 'xD' ex-dee. He used to say "raped in the xD" but he minds himself around me, the closest he comes to it is "wrecked" anymore and I've made it clear I think he should drop the phrase entirely. It takes time for anyone to process how they're using language, so you can't expect change over night. :hmm:
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:iconwhitefoxfarm:
WhiteFoxFarm Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's a good example of "It's easier to stand up to your enemies than stand up to your friends."

I never said anything about changing overnight.  I said I was glad to see something on dA that portrays rape as a terrible thing, to counter everything on dA (and the internet in general) that portrays it as a joke.  I think people should raise awareness that "Um, hey, this is a serious topic" because there is a disturbingly large percentage of people using the term casually.  It makes it harder for people who've really experienced it when they know everybody is going to laugh at them because rape is funny.  I believe using the word as a joke increases the emotional damage for some victims (everybody deals with it differently).  It's never okay to laugh at somebody's pain.
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:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Agreed, on both points (sorry I don't have much else to say). :ashamed:
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:iconwhitefoxfarm:
WhiteFoxFarm Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's ok. ♥

I'm having a very bad day, sorry.
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I'm sorry to hear that. I hope next week gets better at least.
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:iconwhitefoxfarm:
WhiteFoxFarm Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks. ♥
Reply
:iconragecomics100:
Ragecomics100 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing!
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you, on behalf of both of us.
Reply
:iconragecomics100:
Ragecomics100 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
yw np
also check this
ragecomics100.deviantart.com/a…
tell me is good?
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:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I like it, but it's not something I'd read all the time. I like how you've named every chapter, there's a good amount of humor in that.
Reply
:iconragecomics100:
Ragecomics100 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
well it was just to keep the reader entertained
i don`t like to write many things because the reader can easily get bored
so i do minichapters and the reader... well he doesn`t get bored
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