Anne Agnes

i waited too long and now

everyone else has had all the good ideas i had first

they took them and used them and ran and

they made them things i would not have made them

and my voice

is lost

from lack of use

I want a tattoo that goes up my throat

over my chin

up my lips and the space beneath my nose, over the septum in fine lines and spreads across my cheekbones. I want a tattoo that puts wings without feathers across my face, cups my eyes and curls up around the socket traces fine lines under my hair and over my scalp

like the fingers of trees cradling my skull

down the back of my neck, reaching out to the shadow behind my ear

up and down over the ridgeline of my vertebra like waves

out along the fat rolls of skin that cover my ribcage as through my flesh were nothing


down my ass, touching the space where my bum clefts into shadow

pushing past the downy secrets of the hollow where my spine becomes buttocks to vanish and come out onto one bum cheek

gluteus maximus

sliding around the crease of my thigh

up my hip-bone nearly meeting itself where it traced my back, but coming around

to underline the pouch of my stomach


I want a tattoo that comes up my flank and traces the front of my lowest rib

the one stolen from adam

and under my breast in the sensitive flesh

a memory of needles


coming up my sternum

ink driven deep into that bone

scoring marks through flesh to touch the skeleton

heard shivering jsut below in fear of this attack

a tattoo that curls jsut before the armpit and across the collarbone



having journeyed so far

and changed so much

it no longer recognizes itself

and bits its own tail

at the base of my throat

Be cheerful. 

Be cheerful. 

Stop being so sad.

There’s no point to your glumness.

You ought to be glad. 

Your life is quite nice here

You know that it’s good

You’ve got a nice house

In a nice neighborhood. 

Your husband is handsome

And has a career

You’ve plenty of money

And nothing to fear

But no, here you’re sitting

Alone and depressed

Get up and get moving

Or at least get dressed. 

I don’t understand

Why you’re being so selfish

You’re sulky and petulant

Childish and listless.

Now put on your game face 

And go do your chores

There’s cleaning and cooking

And shopping at stores. 

And smiling and laughing

Pretending to care

What, you thought that you

Were the only one dear?

Oh no, all our family

Are all quite the same - 

So do your best, darling

To get with the game.

And someday eventually

When it’s been ingrained

You’ll begin to feel fine

As you ignore your pain. 

Be cheerful.

Be cheerful. 

Stop being so trying. 

You’re part of the family.

Now why are you crying? 

someone poured scotch into tiny crystal glasses

dropped in a small abyss

and made her eyes


her hair is wire

spiked and dangerous


(possibly electric) 


she looks right at me and does not see me

it’s ok

if she saw me I’d just

stop like a traffic light and

turn red


things move on

I’ve never been so grateful

to get back to my life.

Use wooden chopsticks to get stuck toast out of the toaster.

Or plastic ones, but never metal ones. Wood and plastic are insulators and you won’t get zapped.

So I’m as white as plain rice or bleached flour, and I was raised in the 80’s in a conservative New England town. But we had a math teacher who was Indian, and she wore the sarong (saree?) and the bindi and I thought she was amazingly beautiful. And ever since I’ve thought, sarongs are gorgeous, and the women who wear them are so graceful and stylish, as I wore jeans and sweaters and combat boots. 

So today I found this website and wanted to share what I saw there, ebcause these are stunning, dramatic, flowing, gorgeous, feminine, powerful dresses.  

I see ombre and greek and Japanese design elements, honeycomb and snakeskin, colors like the ocean and colors like a jungle pond. This is the modern world.

All wars are rich men’s wars
How else do you expect to buy
The guns to fight them?
Guns cost money.
All wars are rich men’s wars but
That does not mean they are not worthwhile
That fighting them is wrong
That the cause is not just.
All wars are rich men’s wars
Blood and gold have ever been
Bound together
Your life has a set price.
All wars are rich men’s wars
You might as well burn money as shoot bullets
Might as well fire coins out of cannons
And into the bodies of the poor.
All wars are poor men’s wars
Because nobody else must go
Throw away the flowers and songs of life
For the hearing loss and infection
Of the battlefield.

Listen up.

I don’t care what your gender is or your religion or your skin color or anything. Every part of you belongs to you.

Your hair belongs to you. Style it how you choose, professionally or a home cut, dye it or leave it plain - it’s yours. Nobody tells you what to do with it. You accept the consequences of it - but it belongs to you.

Your face belongs to you. Wear makeup, get a sunburnt nose, get plastic surgery, moisturize - it belongs to you.

Your body belongs to you. Nobody has any right to touch you against your will. If you have agreed to a tacit social contract between friends that handshakes and hugs are ok, that’s you saying that contact is ok - but if you ever say “I don’t want to be touched today” that is your right. If you don’t ever want physical contact with anyone ever again that’s your choice. If you want to spend every day hugging people - well, make sure they agree, and do it. It’s your choice.

If you as an adult want to have sex, go for it (with the other person’s consent). You accept the consequences of sex with regards to emotions and physical risks, but it’s your right to choose to be open to having sex. If conversely you do not want to have sex - that’s also your right, absolute and inviolable. If you want to be a monk for the rest of your life nobody can or should force you to change that.

Your knees and shins and toes belong to you. Your fingernails and bellybutton belong to you. Nobody has a right to touch them unless you say yes, and if you say no, they have to stop and respect that. Paint your nails, get a tattoo, get a piercing, be plain-skinned and unadorned. This is your decision and yours alone.


Now I know that this does not always happen in real life and we don’t want to make a fuss out of every unwelcome shoulder-slap and too-long handshake we encounter in this world. But this is the baseline you start from. This is the fundamental truth of your body that you must always begin from, every morning you wake up, every night you go to sleep:

Every part of you belongs to you.

(Remember, remember that the inverse is also true: every part of every other person on this planet belongs to them, and you have no right to touch so much as their hair without their consent.)