Breathless

I can’t breathe where
secular values fade from view:
access to safety
dignity
resources
protection from abuse
in the home
at work
on the street
at war.

I can’t breathe when
secular values
of equality and democracy
unravel before the
‘heroic death’
‘just massacre’
a romantic attachment to
violence
unromantic attitudes to
women
gays
democracy.

I can’t breathe near
laws of submission and obedience
to traditional codes of
masculine power.

I can’t breathe for
the body hatred
the terror of sexuality
borne by religions.

The purity and certainty they prize
maim and
bury us
alive.

Men rote-learning the faith.
Men conditioned by
pornographic consumerism.

Two ends of the same rod
for women and children.

 

val walsh / 2009

 

 

 

 

 

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