Rites: Poetry by Helena Lutchman

abuse and violence
Image: Pixabay.com modified


Awaken with a start
scuttle through your shelves
read poetryprayers of salvation
from women who paint violence with purple ink
say my god my god my god
this hasn’t happened to me
this isn’t happening
have not —

press your fingers against your open mouth
open wounds
open you.

Spray frankincense to mask your smell
and ward off the hyenas —
let yourself starve
so they will have less to feed on

spell the name of your demons out loud
describe the exact brown of their eyes
draw a trail where they came

bury your broken teeth
with copper coins

insist this was the last.
Poem © Helena Lutchman
Image: Pixabay.com modified

About the author

Helena Lutchman

Helena Lutchman is a 23-year-old Mauritian who works as Communication Officer in an NGO. She attended “L’Atelier d’Écriture” at l’Institut Français de Maurice for more than a year— a creative writing workshop which encouraged her to develop a more focused approach to writing, eventually allowing some of her poems to be published online and in print. In 2017, she was named co-winner of the Édouard Maunick Poetry Prize for her poem “Louise Baby”.

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