POETS RESPOND

Hold onto your hats, boys
By Katherine Perry 

A reckoning stands before you

her hands clenched in tight fists
and she has said no 
one too many times
to someone who has not listened
to a man who has not heard the message
and now you all have to change
to make all of the accommodations
that you never had to make before.

You no longer can have what you want
whenever you want it.
You can now learn what it is we want:
it is not, and has never been, a mystery.

If biology is the problem, 
we want you to masturbate
instead of sticking it in us.
Do it alone. In private.

We want to decide where and when and if
we have sex with you.
And when you ask, and we say no,

you must obey.

Yes, go home unsatisfied.
You think we don’t? 
We do. We always have. 

And we will continue to ruin every single one of you
who has committed these felonies against us
until you get this right.


Katherine D. Perry is an Associate Professor of English at Perimeter College of Georgia State University. Some of her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Women’s Studies Quarterly, The Dead Mule of Southern Literature, Eco-Chick, Poetry Quarterly, Melusine, Southern Women’s Review, Bloodroot, Borderlands, Women’s Studies, RiverSedge, Rio Grande Review, and 13th Moon. She works in Georgia prisons to bring literature and poetry to incarcerated students and is currently building a prison initiative with Georgia State University to bring college courses into Georgia state prisons. She lives in Decatur, Georgia with her spouse and two children

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