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SEVEN GATES – Atlas

SEVEN GATES

Comfrey Sanders

My body in your hands feels like a punchline
Feels like a finish line
A cracked in half crunch line.
My body
Ripped in half and full up
Squeezed out and wrung up
Twisted up tight.
My flesh oozing out from between your fingers
And running down your arms.
I never knew it could feel like this
This splitting this hitting
So hard
The rock bottom.
Falling. All. The way
And then further
Really hitting each level
With every soft
Intimate
Secret part
Of my body.   
Every desirable curve and angle
Given to me by genes or evolution
All the most attractive
Photogenic
Sought after – craved after bits.
And not just the outside either
I mean every part
All the innards that are never meant to see the light of day
The delicate filaments and embryonic sacks
Those purple sluggy guts
That fit together like the inside of a fruit gone bad.
And then the shit mixed in
Those bits that to be without
Would make you less than human.
This place earth
She’s a young thing that feels old
Ancient
Crumbling
In years so little
Vital
But she’s been beaten     
Into shape and spat out
Licking the crumbs
Off the concrete
And lowering her eyes as the boots come out.
She’s raged and she sweated
Smiled and fretted
Given her self to any who’ve asked.
She’s let them pull on her teats
And hold her head back
Finger her gently
And kick her round plenty.
I sold my soul to get in here
Here where the coke heads and booze hags bounce together
Where no one knows my name and my body is god.
The music is deafening
The beat is sick
Quick
One hit
After the next
A never-ending stream  
Of wet mouths and crowds
So thick
Only a bullet could part them.
The slick wick women
And the grasping fasting holy men.
You think when you look at me like that
It makes me love you.
But it doesn’t.
Even though our eyes have been ripped out
The sockets still bleed.
The bees come to nest in them
Whispering
“Let us clean you up.”
The buzzing drives out silence
They fill our open mouths with honey
Trying to quench our ever-empty cup.
And at our seven gates we stand
In our fields
Or lounges
In our kitchens
On the backs of our horses
Or tractors
Holding our trophies
Our rifles
Birth certificates
Merits and degrees
The things we trained for
Sweated for
Slept less for
The things that we paid for
Prayed for
Worked for.
And we know we deserve more
Deserve to be cared for.
To be heard
Listen to
And thought for.
But feel the goodness too
If you’re gonna survive
You’ve gotta learn how to thrive.
Unless that simply
Unless that simply means to stay alive.   

Comfrey Sanders is a writer, short filmmaker, actor and theatre maker living in Auckland, New Zealand. She tries to better understand the world by making art in it.