Complicit : Erasure of the Body, Written Submissions

These are the collected written submissions from artists participating in our March 3-April 8th 2019 Nasty Women Connecticut Art Exhibition.

If You Were a Woman, Amie Ziner

If You Were A Woman

a shift in global warming trends, the ice caps were definitely smaller they said this momentous change was preceded by many indications

the distance you traveled to find a lodging, make a meal, settle in where all the forests we had viewed were cut, and the land raped
I grew up watching for the ways emotion manipulates into power
if you were a woman your heart would be broken, permanently

they’ve misunderstood the statistics, scientists would never do that it’s artificial lights, make everyone’s lips purple, like death

you say there’s this woman inside, embedded in semi-consciousness
we wondered how to let it go without a scream a womanly thing, sure
in the thickets the catbrier clung to my short dress and scratched my legs if you were a woman you would be too angry to admit despair

they paved every road that was once a path, straightened the course of the river now it’s recommended: keep a dog (just to feel some warmth under hand)

in the glow of the screen immutable fact lies in wait, indifferent to your soul
we write this history down, far down... all the way down and outside
I waited for my mother to come home, I was the woman of the house ‘til then
if you were a woman you would get down to the praying without embarrassment

they could catch hold of what lies and what is the truth - or stand in between
less birds fly south every year, less whales appear off the coast of Greenland

what’s that you say, the message never got through? you couldn’t find the time? if ever the dreams died we would all die too, poisoned by hopelessness
I’ve buckled up the seatbelts to keep us all safe when the family moves
if you were a woman you would invent a new reason to live every hour

activists handed out leaflets and they picked up trash, a vast mountain of plastic bags no one wants to buy the food grubbed out of the earth if it still has dirt on it

you can’t claim to hold a woman’s understanding, decode all this
we stand here aching for reasons we can barely express, still fighting
my little girl could teach lessons on self-containment on heartbreak on beauty

if you were a woman your heart would be broken, permanently
if you were a woman you would be too angry to admit despair
if you were a woman you would get down to the praying without embarrassment if you were a woman you would invent a new reason to live every hour
if you were a woman you would sing about joy, astounding even cynics

Word count: 451