Monstering

Disabled Women and Nonbinary People Celebrating Monsterhood

Fruit of the Earth

CW: Assault (sexual), abuse

 

Years after I choked on the rubbery sex flesh
of my mother, my father, so many strange
and familial others, after the robed hands
pushed char between my horrified

teeth clenched like a portcullis, after my throat
repeatedly opened for dirty money and gagged
and tore, years since my small soul sighed
and withered like a frost-hit tree, implacably

retreating its life sap down my branches
into my cringing centre, a little further
with each heaving year, years since
my body retreated too, the flesh sliding off

the bones, my form willowing with grief,
scooping into a cave at the abdomen where
the loss was dying-star hot, a brief daughter
having blazed through, gasp, and then

silence and murder and ash, my mouth
clenched against nutrients, strangling the
cells slowly, mindlessly, aiming for death
without will, direction having been

tortured out of me thousands of days and
heavy bodies ago; years since then,
after an unexpected friend helped change everything
one bruised wall-flung Monday night, yes

everything, as if she threw a switch on the
horror train track of my life and it opened
to bearings I'd thought closed to me, after
I travelled hours away to my first 

own four walls (sometimes I lay in bed there,
door locked, my fingers caressing the
yellow-painted brick of those walls; they felt
like love, my head quietly safe, forgiven

whatever demons my father had tried to beat
out of it), after my soul started creeping out
slowly, at first only when no one saw,
cautiously allowing me a body, a secret

package of crackers or a banana, stretching into
my fingertips and my lips pressed against
another girl's, slowly budding in my
mouth like hidden curled leaves that had

slept through winter, now new-green and sticky,
growing once again the house the tree of
taste, because it was finally safe, my stomach
filling its cave, gently unflattening from

a grief-pitted rock shard; years later, today, I eat
a quart of berries.  Don't be surprised
when I tell you that, as the taste bursts
sharp and sweet and new-green

on my tongue, I am astonished, soul-struck,
that each time I taste goodness, my face lifts,
eyes closed, that when I say the blessing
(...boreyt p'ri ha'adamah) each time I cry.

 
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Drawing of a smiling pale-skinned person, with curly brown hair past their shoulders and round glasses.  They are wearing a lavender t-shirt with a multi-gender symbol on it, blue pants, and pink shoes.  They are standing against a white background; their hands are tucked into their pants pockets.  

Drawing of a smiling pale-skinned person, with curly brown hair past their shoulders and round glasses.  They are wearing a lavender t-shirt with a multi-gender symbol on it, blue pants, and pink shoes.  They are standing against a white background; their hands are tucked into their pants pockets.
 

KAMILA RINA is a disabled neurodivergent immigrant bisexual genderfluid poet, sexuality & disability educator, and a survivor of torture and long-term sexual violence.  Ze likes trees, books, chocolate, and people and things that smell good, and enjoys talking about being present in one's body and fomenting the revolution.  They have previously been published in Room magazine, Breath & Shadow, Sinister Wisdom, and We Have Come Far.  For more information visit kamilarina.com.