HYPERNOVA LIT

A Stellar Flare of Young Adult Writing and Visual Art

A Message to the Status Quo and Don’t See Colors

BY GABRIELLE GALCHEN


Message to the Status Quo 

She’s just walking through the street
but all she hears is 
 Woman!

Woman?

Her mind is an oak tree,
leaves tickle your upturned nose 
bark a blanket to smother orders 
she’ll put herself on fire to burn your reign to ashes 
but a drought smashes wishes she threw into wells 
so at age 12 instead of learning what the word feminist means
she leaves her temple of books so her family can survive  
girls are ⅔ of Mother Earth’s illiterates 
 -- woman!

She runs everyday; 
chest shrivels to prunes 
eyes gleam dark and blue and alive like gas fire;
but you think you know her name,
her body,
better than she does
sing to her maggot-praises.
One question: 
Did she ask for your opinion?
Because she’s running more than minutes and miles,
running away from you 
and her Papa and her Mama
who tell her not to run out at night, 
there’s a 35% chance she’ll experience sexual violence
 -- woman!

She’s told she must paint her face
for artists to buy,
sculpt her body like wax until her will’s to match-
 don’t eat too much 
 but don’t exercise too little
 or you’ll lose the gifts God bestowed you-
Digital fantasies and diets 
force-feed her a Bible of
numbers
with Barbie on the cover-
her eyes become pathological liars
of mythological body types;
psychological epidemic, 70 million have eating disorders-
 -- woman! 

Her mouth flows with her mind
but you tell her silence will form the music 
to her wedding song,
nods grow bouquets of dandelion-smiles;
by now her cheeks ache 
but years course through her like ants 
and she wants to be loved;
your play is her new night-reading;
she copies characters and pastes
herself in between two pages stuck together;
Pinnochio’s cheat, you told her she was only born for a ring,
one in five girls under age 18 have already beat her;
 -- woman! 

But this is a democracy
of red-white-blue hypocrisy-
 red blood she’s forbidden to speak of 
 white filter she’s supposed to aspire to 
 blue clams trapping her in a quicksand;
It wants to swallow her

because in this society 
she’s a citizen of propriety-

So
she’s just walking through the street but

when you rob her privacy it’s because 
her clothes hugged her like a snail,
because
 Woman! 
When you interrupt her it’s because 
her voice isn’t a drum, it’s a violin and it sings so sweet,
because 
 Woman! 
When you treat her body like your puppet it’s because
you’re a priest choosing which life is more important,
because
 Woman! 
When you say being “girly” will win her love it’s because 
“girly” is an insult you can only whisper,
because
 Woman! 

Woman? 
Defining her is your survival.
I am sorry I blamed you for preaching 
that we engraved on her tombstone. 

So woman-
girl,
queen-
person-

please tell me your name,
and I will tell you mine. 

Don’t See Colors

Dear Greenhouse Gas,

I thought you saw no colors;
you seeped black, brown and white out from every postcard
and I gotta tell you:
like the perfect storm, you do your job well.

You taint the golden state red as
enraged candles flare to fire.
Eyes spot skin into red lumps
to match your foggy green blanket;
trapped in the melting trees
a little girl in a white shirt stands still,
clouded in a smoky halo.

When she boils water in her head,
she has to rein in her dissipating dreams
under your reign you snatch every last droplet 
and she knows rain will soon be dead,
and the ground will drown in its own drought.

They say that their Christian angels void you
and you’re a Chinese fairytale;
you exhale like a dragon and vomit fire
because you know that your scales will never sizzle.

They swim under this stolen water 
so that they don’t have to hear coughing 
that has become the symphony to every neighborhood’s dirge,
or smell smoke from miracle metal twisting into your sword.

They bar this secret under a factory’s locks so that it escapes them,
joins you to entrap them and spit out their delusion
that decorating a snowman trims away 
“global warming” problems.

They lick glinting nothings in the ground to fuel their pity-cars
over the blaring pop-culture of Sandy’s and Maria’s.
They sing out from their window that 
this isn’t their problem,

because even Katy Perry’s song is into weather 
that is “hot and then cold,”
because they’ll die before their cars crash into floods 
that match their eyes,
because on their windshields they draw dust into diaries 
that tell a reality only their kids will have to read.

One day, 
that little girl with sunken yellow-rimmed eyes leaves her school desk empty.
This doesn’t hit them close to home,
but she’s not too far away.

Droughts mean that now her family needs her help too;
two degrees hotter in the past couple centuries
and when everyone darker than your sunny accomplice suffers,
it’s become obvious that though you don’t see colors 

it’s ignored that they do,
that we do-

and

Dear Greenhouse Gas,

I'm sorry I blamed you for a snake we created
because its venom 
has discriminated, incarcerated, alienated
an entire group of people-
and it hasn’t abated.
 
we have to change the climate of our earth,
our politics,
our mentality;
 
only then will we have a worthwhile reality. 

About the Author

An avid writer and activist, Gabrielle enjoys to combine her two passions in order to make whatever small changes she can in her environment.

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This entry was posted on February 21, 2021 by in Poetry and tagged , , , , .
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