Elevation

 

 

 

I remember, that day you showed up in the bright, beautiful sunshine

Outside the Hôtel des Invalides

And you had brought me a pastry rather than flowers

As you thought it would be easier for me to carry

 

It was so pure.

 

And your intent shone

Golden, before we had even kissed.

 

Before we had even spoken everything that we felt

You loved me.

And you showed it

This is how I knew you were a man

Different from all the boys I’d known before.

 

— Jennifer Weng Han

 

 

Feature image: Taken the morning of my 21st birthday in Paris, in my old neighbourhood of Palais Royal, by my dear coloc and friend Naina Bajekal

Instinct on a Full Moon

 

 

I felt it in my heart.

I held it in my gut.

He whispered to me—

The truth before you told me.

Before you mustered up enough

Strength, courage, boldness.

To let me know yourself

 

How did I know?

Is it because I’m woman?

And you’re male.

Is it because I hold a heightened power of intuition?

(That’s too reductive).

 

Or, is it because I’ve seen you before?

You’re a déjà vu of other men,

Who didn’t have the tenacity.

To hold the truth. To tell the truth

So instead covered it up with half-truths

And an opalescence that they thought was

so distracting, I couldn’t see through the shimmer and the shine.

I do like shiny things.

But

that’s why I’m a connoisseur of the real from the fake

Did you not know? You can tell a real pearl by its grit

When you bite down on it.

That’s a fact. For real. Proof of authenticity.

 

Let me tell you the truth.

It will set you free.

I saw it before you knew it.

I saw it coming weeks in advance.

Because I hold intimate knowledge of you

I’m no fortune teller. I don’t have the gift of foresight.

But—I am a woman who runs with the wolves.

Insight told me, miles ahead of you

Because I am not afraid of the wild,

Or the rhythms of the moon, that dictate change in the tides.

Does it frighten you?

Because I see you for who you are, and I’m not afraid of it.

I don’t walk away without asking you first to look me in the eyes.

Because I could push you stratospherically out of your comfort zone?

“Maybe nothingness is to be without your presence,
without you moving, slicing the noon
like a blue flower, without you walking
later through the fog and the cobbles,” (Neruda)

—I guess you will see, as you feel me walk away.

 

By Jennifer McGeever

Written on the night of a full moon, feature image taken by Florence Chau in Vancouver, Canada.

A Woman’s Worth

You are, actually, worth fighting for
You are worthy of selfless friendship
You are worthy of unexpected kindness
You are worth a good night’s sleep

 

You are better than giving them another day of your life
You are more than less than

 

You are allowed to take up space (especially when you got there first)
You are allowed to be more educated
You are allowed to walk in your desire
Be entitled to.

 

She is worthy of shelter
She is worthy of freedom to bleed
Without interruption to her everyday month
She is worthy of understanding the world
She is worthy of still being able to feel
Electricity between her thighs
Unmutilated.
She is worthy of owning
She is unworthy of being owned

 

No, you don’t have to always make room for him
No you don’t have to accommodate
No—it actually doesn’t mean yes

 

You are worthy of not crying yourself to sleep
You are worthy of being accommodated
You are worthy to serve

 

You are worthy of taking the time
You are allowed to take a breath
You are allowed to be breakable
You are allowed to dream, please do
You are allowed to not know

 

You are worthy of not being prey

 

She is entitled to your respect
She is entitled to her feelings
Yes, she is worth your unadulterated fidelity
She is every woman you love
Yes, maybe she is better off without you

 

You are worthy to serve
One another in love
You are worthy to be treated
In love as you treat others

 

Yes, you are.

 

 

— Jennifer McGeever

Ed note: The symbol on the envelope above is a (badly scribed) Chinese character for ‘female’.