(Poem) 'Cause of Death: I Still Dream About You Twice a Week'


By Alice Briselden-Waters

Illustration by Kate Bernardi

Power lies

within your sheets,

After you are done you hang me out to dry

Pegging up a body suit

I can no longer inhabit nor shed the skin you have touched now

I am silicone on trial to be preserved as a public service

You dispose of me so eagerly

But my emotions will recycle

Sometimes, I forget there was a person beneath your tainted touch

Whilst your governed freedom remains untouched

These bleak societal norms,

Would have it that it’s meant to hurt

My vagina is meant to bleed to fit you sir

It was tense, but won’t slot into my passed

See, I wish, I had screamed, so loud, I woke your mother, your sisters

Your father from his misogynistic slumber

Awoken by the shock,

Every time I dream of you I wake up with a feeling…

It will be okay if I loved you, right? It will make this all go away…?

The Stockholm syndrome seeps into my subconscious

Keeps me hating myself by those that I fear, I loved

You sycophant, you saint, how dare you paint your hate as endearing

Then steal the lungs of women in the night,

She cannot name you gods gift, yet let you do the devils work without reprimand

There is not a clean finger on either of your hands

You have spat on every one with her genes

To lubricate your pornographic forensic scenes

You were always hiding in plain sight, permission given to perpetuate fright,

Here’s your get out of jail free card,

Sincerely the patriarchy

Because “she was always gonna sleep with me!”

Did you even ask? Or did you scare me into submission?

Your infection of my body society fully commissioned.

The man that told others to look after me was the boy that hurt me the most

You were meant to hold me in your arms and protect me

Instead you forced me

To see masculinity is a violent dichotomy

Informing me where you’d bury me, eventually

Power lies

drying liquid

on my churning stomach

in your bed.

Credit to Melissa Broder @sosadtoday for the poem’s title.