Permission to complain
Is it time to complain
Yet I should feel at home
Inside my unease
The streaking teenage boy
Is wearing dazzling cheeks
Like constellations of innocence
Tangoing through my mind
Yet sweeping me skyward, acquiescent
Should I protest
Should I dislodge these words from my throat
Is it yet my time
I look for permission
Leave to utter a mythical noise
Without souring the vigilant faces of stone
Letting escape this cry from my soles
A wild creature tearing up through me
Out through my mouth
I want to shout it
Is it yet time?
Is it now?
Can I yet work this flesh of my neck
Fashion my own indescribable noise
Release it to taunt me without mercy
Is it now?
Can I do it?
Is the choice any longer mine—
With a man’s joy deep inside me
Finding my throat as an explosion breathes air
And forming its words from within me:
“Yes, say it, say it, say it, for Christ’s sake, say it—”
Is it time yet?
To groan, to moan, to shout it out
To finally release this confined creature?
As I find my throat
Performing an alien manoeuvre
And my spirit lighting the sky
Certain as a lighthouse beam
[This poem was written under the pseudonym of Mary Shardness, who is the heroine in a novel that I have not yet written.]