Stirring secrets – a poem by Cristina Dominguez

I only tell
the slightest surface of my secrets
because I believe
in this world–
a woman has to hide,
to hoard away,
what is hers

Even her words
the culture tries to curb,
to turn into slurs
steering it off course
from the bold discourse
where it was heading.

Heeding it,
cleaning it up,
clearing the story,
the truth
that is hers

It is no secret
that my secrets
secrete an essence that is utterly
They are political acts,
outspoken pieces,
silent but
resiliently kept parts of me
that hold together,
that comprise
and compose
the contradictory complexity
that is me

Why would I tell?
break the shell
curse the elegant abbreviation,
the blurb they call absurd,
articulate the labels I’ve reclaimed
the words they called me to shut me up:


loose with love,
always, BOTH ways
whoring out for more
never taking rest with less

They’ve done their best
to shame me,
can you blame them?
they can hardly accurately name me.
they’re acutely skewed in their view of me,

and I’ve long since taken flight
from the plight they made, for me

I won’t settle
I’m unsettling
I’m obscenely unseen
I’m hiding in the still
In the sanctuary
so they can’t speak of me
I’m hiding where they can’t see me
In and within
among and strung up
hung up on
keeping and seeking
My secrets

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