papaya, cut in half, on a marble surface

Poem | Equals

I’ve wanted to write a poem about what womanhood means for a while – and what better occasion to spur me on than International Women’s Day?

Here’s a piece I whipped up relatively quickly; I didn’t want to overthink it for fear of losing what I wanted to say, so it might be a little rough around the edges.

But then, aren’t we all?

I hope it speaks for itself.

Here’s to strong women everywhere; to those who helped us to get where we are today, to those who make change happen, to those who love, and to those who are doing their best.



I was born with an equals sign between my legs.

Parity comes as naturally to me
as inhaling, sleeping, and feeling drawn to the sea.
My body rips itself apart
and gives half to the half of me in you,
and I bleed inside out once a month,
because I deign to
control the chemical code of my brain
that they call flawed and feeble
with pill-shaped power and privilege
each morning, when I wake.

There’s a fire in me that could spark life
if fuelled with passion; a miniature big bang brewing in my belly,
cells waiting to make something from nothing
but air, and the essence of them, and me.
My heart is full enough to overflow through my eyes
when my wires shortcircuit,
and I can shapeshift and make this body mine
if it wasn’t designed to suit me;
and I can be both hard and soft all in a moment,
and I can do anything you can do, too.

And I am just one of many a gender,
Stood together.

And you call us weak.

Don’t try to turn my equals into a minus
when you know full well
it should be plus.


papaya, cut in half, on a marble surface



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