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The Ankh

Was it fear that lead
To the pillaging of our stories

And the silencing of our voices?

They conquer, they save,
All through the night they fight,
With torches in hand, to light
The way they pave.

Is it that one day they paused,
To take a look at it all,
And could not make sense,
Could not justify,
Or rationalize?

Stuck between a rock and a hard place,
Stuck between the truth and their doings,
They decided to swallow whole
What they were too scared to face.

We took it all.
We took it all.
Can’t you tell by our faces lined on these walls?

Men are the saviors and the murders.
The beggars and the breadwinners.
The gentlemen and the players.
The preachers and the drug dealers.

Men are history makers.
Women are incubators,
Who hold our babies
And hold our stories.

Grow our babies
And tell our stories.

How amazing are women,
What we choose to endure.
Imagine one day
We said, no more.

No more sex,
No more babies,
No more mankind.
Brought time to a standstill
Stopped history in its tracks
What would you say?
What would you do?
If you could no longer,
Whip hope on our backs?

If there was no more time,
For in time
No future to think of
No children to endure for

If we brought time to a standstill
Stopped history in its tracks
Stole the whole world
From the palm of your hands

The tale is as old as time
How men reassure themselves
With short little lines
Like ‘these women are crazy,’
And surely we must be

Each time we strip ourselves
Lay bare
And contemplate
Whether this act is one
Of love or of hate
We dress ourselves and leave with a nudging
Have you ever carried the burden of not quite knowing?

We do it again
And the question returns
Each time an act of faith
A blow to logic

All humans are human
Perhaps we love the same
Find refuge
In our hugs
And our kisses
But what if each touch
Was like a magician’s gun
Or a blade
And each time you had to ask yourself
Is this degradation in masquerade?

She asked,
Have you ever wondered if your refuge is your cage?
He said once or twice, but enough with that strife
She said imagine if you did
Nearly every damn day

Have you ever felt a nudging that won’t go away?
And what if for life
Your carried the burden
Of never quite knowing

What a special hell it is
When our human needs are
Morphed into tools of
Subjugation and
Sir if you had to hear yourself
Played back to you
And your moans of pleasure
Were indecipherable
From your groans of pain,
Wouldn’t you go insane?

If women brought time to a stand still,
Stopped history in its tracks,
Grabbed you by the arms,
And twisted your backs
Would you be able to stand, still?
Could you stomach what you created?
Or what you let continue
In your complacency?
Could you keep it together?
Would you fall apart?
Hell, I rather be crazy.

Didn’t you know,
Crazy is just another word for
It’s the aftermath of living in a world
That tears you apart
But forces you to hold it together

Hold it together
Hold our babies in your wombs
Hold our men inside of you
Hold our anger on your bodies
Hold our words in your ears
Hold our gazes on your shoulders
Hold our opinions in your head







What a sick cycle of co-dependency,
When we are linked so intrinsically.
I flirt with ideas of self-destruction
Even if the end of you
Means the end of me.

But, I am going to pour you out of me
Did you hear me?
I am going to pour you out of me.

Do you know what shape you take when you are not inside of a woman?
What shape your hands would make if they did not have to be fists?

I am going to pour you out of me.
Did you hear me?
Act quick.
I am pouring you out of me.

Franchesca Pena '18
Image: Minu Jun '19