The synonym for mother is housewife. This puts her in her place. Place is a synonym
for property which can be exchanged with address. How a man should speak to his partner.
Partner is synonym for helpmate. Chief among wifely duties is to release his tension, at times
with her mouth. Mouth is a synonym for trap, but also yap, which can easily be substituted
with nag. When the husband leaves his stained pants on the floor, by her side of the bed, he
does so knowing she will have to walk over them to get to the door. This is both a trap and
a way to bait her into nagging. The Bible says It is better to live in a desert land than with
a quarrelsome and fretful woman. This explains the ladyfinger, little nipple, mother of
hundreds, and rosy pincushion cactus. How they can burn from the inside, quiet for weeks.
Weeks designates a culturally accepted period of time. Time was constructed by a man who
took credit for being able to read the phases of the moon. The moon is the original
trinity—maiden, mother, and crone, there to reflect the sun’s light. The sun is considered a man,
and because that wasn’t enough, he could not help but place his face on her body, which are
really scars left from stones. I can count full on a hand the number of countries that still stone
woman to death. Sakshi Tanwar, an Indian actress said, “I feel birth, death, and marriage is
destined, and these things can’t be manipulated.” In India, men took turns raping an eleven-
year-old girl. For months. Another culturally accepted period of time. The men did not
break and enter, but were there to guard the gates. The majority of children and teens know
their rapist. Women only know the antonym of security. Most gates operate on a self-closing
hinge. The men injected the girl with a sedative before tearing her open. Then, she was
blackmailed with videos of the assault. A synonym for blackmailed is to bleed.
‘An entire community got together to rape a child’: India recoils at girl’s assault [The New York Times]
India fourth most unsafe country for women [Deccan Chronicle]
What #JusticeforNoura tells us about women and the death penalty [UN Dispatch]
Megan Merchant lives in the tall pines of Prescott, AZ. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections: Gravel Ghosts (Glass Lyre Press, 2016), The Dark’s Humming (2015 Lyrebird Award Winner, Glass Lyre Press, 2017), four chapbooks, and a forthcoming children’s book with Philomel Books. She was awarded the 2016-2017 COG Literary Award, judged by Juan Felipe Herrera. She is an Editor at The Comstock Review.