a man will never be a mountain

 

I

she is wandering, she is walking through the hallways, wind flinging sand into her face, she is not crying, she has no fear, this is her territory, this is her homeland, this is where her foot has walked, so many times before, lives before her, lives after her, living during her, running through her, walking against the underside of the sun, walking ahead of her shadow, extending behind her, watching, it is waiting, as she moves across the plain, as her mind extends, as her body lingers, as her past moves through her body, as her fingers work across the sky, as she is barreling down, as she is here, as she is wandering.

 

II

she sleeps. the night does not change. the night does not start nor end. it is here. it is here. it is coming. running against the sun. the moon extends across the sky. her eyes are closed. she is seeing the moon as bright as the sun. she does not know what she is looking for. she opens her eyes. she cannot tell if she is in night or day. her back is resting against the sand. the moon shines.

 

III

she wakes and can hear running across the plain there is no sound except for the falling of footsteps they are coming and she cannot escape the sun is shining and everywhere is reflective she cannot see she cannot see where she stops and where everything else begins there is no separation for her from anything there is no separating her body from the space it occupies she is everything she is extending she is extending herself across the field she is moving across the plain the sand underneath the soles of her feet is brushing up against her she cannot see where her skin is she cannot see what her skin is she cannot see anything she cannot hear anything except for the padding of horses’ hooves running against the sand she is breathing she will not stop she will not stop breathing her chest moving up and down the beating of her heart will not stop the horses are coming and she will not run.  

 

IV

He arrived, slowly, at first. He was above her, sitting, silhouetted by the sun, He descended. He was taller than her. Towering, He did not smile. Padded, protected, against nature, He did not see anything. He did not see trees; life, flush against the backdrop. He opened his mouth and took a breath. He did not taste air, He simply felt sand going into His throat. Vendetta. He placed his fist into the ground. she dared not breathe, He saw her anyway.

 

 

V

It happened slowly until it did not. It happened in increments and then all at once. Toiling away the nights, there was no moon showing against her.

her back was against the wall that He created. His hand was on her throat. His fingers were in her mouth. she tasted blood. she could not tell to whom it belonged.

 

VI

It happens fast until it doesn’t. It happens all at once until it stops. No machines are perfect. No machine breathes; no machine dreams; no machine hopes; no machine fears; no machine pricks their finger on a spinning wheel and makes a wish; no machine hugs you close and whispers ‘love’; no machine says “stop”; some machines still say

“Go.”

 

VII

“Go.”

the word rests in her mouth and feeds her, she is ready.

there are tree trunks in her legs, there is air in her lungs, there is green blood running through her veins.

she is healing and she is growing.

she is fighting back.

 

VII

she fights until she is strangled again. He grows underneath hubris. Machines are imperfect and still they are built.

 

VIII

He is not ready for his machines to fail. Has no cure for rust. Has no way back. No, she will not grant clemency, will not be lenient. she has been hurt. she is fighting back. she is growing. she will not stop. she has life within her. she has life outside of her. she is life. she is living. she is growing. she is fighting.

 

IX

Hands strike swiftly under the cover of night, waiting for the moon to return. The moon is no machine, she is calculated. The moon knows, watching over. The moon smiles in her face and reveals herself, shining brighter than the sun.

 

X

he is gone.

She grows, lush. She grows, fertile. She grows, sowing seeds of resistance.

She is here.

 

 

Author's Note:

This poem is an exploration of the idea of the relationship between capitalism and how it affects climate change, using 'man' or 'masculinity' to represent capitalism and settler colonialism, with 'woman' or 'femininity.' The idea behind it comes from the shared vocabulary exploring issues relating to femmes and/or women as well as climate change, and the way the earth is characterized, often in literature, as feminine-coded. By personifying these relationships we are able to explore them deeper and at a level that makes them relatable to us, as people, as opposed to ideas that are on a global-scale that are sometimes seen as inaccessible.

 

This poem is about: 
My community
Our world

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