Cheryl Vail

Cheryl Vail

Cheryl Vail, originally from New Jersey but now calling Dublin home, is a software product manager by day, and has been writing since she could scribble on any available surface. 

Monday, 06 September 2021 09:37

My body is not your soapbox

Published in Poetry

My body is not your soapbox

by Cheryl Vail

you are not the arbiter of my curve appeal
the constable ticketing the lack of a gap between thighs
or the angle of sharp elbows
my orifices are not your sink holes
you’re not the border agent stationed at my labia
you’re not the master of my clitoris
you don’t decide if she is he if a chromosome has a Y

my body is not your soapbox
your legislation is an abomination
to push policies that send your
agenda on trajectories to keep
people in their place
or ostracize those of us
who don’t abide by your sanctified lies

my body is not your soapbox
to say the cells in my womb
are yours to groom is as terrible
as when you abandon them to be a pariah
once the air has filled their lungs
abortions the appropriateness of social welfare and
the length of my pubic pit and chin hair
are not yours to decide in state houses
or the zeitgeist

my body is not your soapbox
is not your package bound in pink tape
my nipples are not daggers blinding your morals
my breasts may they be mountains or molehills
are beautiful and bountiful and only sexual
if I want them to be

my body is not your soapbox
my menstrual cycle is not your profit
your luxury tax and it is not my shame
you are not the tailor of my skirt hem
or the seamstress taking in my waist

my body is not your soapbox
take away the legalese
the posturing and proselytizing
I’m not the downfall of paradise
and I’m not your bully pulpit
my body is not your soapbox.