Introduction

Introduction

The suffocated
glimmer of
luxury
draws people in
the shadows
of surface and lull. 
The public
unstitching
quietly giving
up a balance.


from pages xiv-xv of The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan (W.W. Norton & Company, 2017).

Give

Give

This is how alive, my body
could betray me.
Neither of us love death.
We don’t want to leave.
Even now, life is
what I give away.


from pages 270-271 of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (First Anchor Books, 1998).

Desire

Desire

This is where I become desire.
There is no moon to steal
my eyes. I am
my own light.
I give the flowers my skin.


from pages 96-98 of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (First Anchor Books, 1998).

Eyes

Eyes

Given the women
one, two, hush.
I fidget under
eyes of ladies.
We all know
exactly who we are.
Among us we show
ourselves what we
can do to escape.


from pages 274-275 of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (First Anchor Books, 1998).

Imagine

Imagine

If women made men
consider what things
they thought. Then imagine
the government gave
authority to us. What will
we have gotten away with
or is this safety?


from pages 118-119 of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (First Anchor Books, 1998).

Magic

Magic

What’s dangerous
is to be reminded
of time, how it
used to be magic
when I thought
I’d never feel
the trouble I lived.


from pages 158-159 of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (First Anchor Books, 1998).

Opened

Opened

We hear hysteria is
for women only.
They tell you to
get used to it.
You are still the same,
where everyone can
keep being held
like opened hands.


from pages 272-273 of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (First Anchor Books, 1998).

Tell

Tell

I am trying to praise
our voice, the pleasure
I know I control.
I say, this is a warning.
Tell me,
I can’t turn away.


 from pages 284-285 of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (First Anchor Books, 1998).

Light

Light

We go, as if
thunder moving. 
I open a name that
pleases me to remember.
It meant, I was light.


from pages 260 of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (First Anchor Books, 1998).

Disguise

Disguise

Feathers covered the stars along such chanting. 
The air glittering, see-through, and crumpled
with sweat. I know I’ve never worn a disguise.
Tonight I watch this body of shadow
remember how to fight.


from pages 230-231 of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (First Anchor Books, 1998).

Body

Body

Danger is luxury
where all things wait
for the earth to go around
the body.
If you believe
them in their smiling
and waving,
it’s true.
We continue
to be dead.


from pages 200-201 of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (First Anchor Books, 1998).

Name

Name

Once
I had a name.
I wore it
ordinary
as if it had
been permanent.
The worth of it,
was all
that made me.


from pages 84-85 of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (First Anchor Books, 1998).

Wave

Wave

The shape of stars
wave around me despite
the earth. I carry
water too cold
to swim and pull
my body close
to edges dark,
like being carried away.


from pages 74-75 of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (First Anchor Books, 1998).

Chorus

Chorus

From women watch
my dress clench me like
a chorus of lungs burst.
We are no longer
ridiculous white veils.


from pages 124-125 of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (First Anchor Books, 1998).

Say

Say

This is my body.
I do not lie still.
I light the dream
with open eyes.
I enjoy your mouth
when breath doesn’t
permit us to turn away.


from pages 94-95 of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (First Anchor Books, 1998).

Power

Power

I shake
power
so easily.
I moved
my head
to joy
and into
me
I go, 
to find
that I see, 
I am
not empty.


from pages 162-163 of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (First Anchor Books, 1998).

Name

Name

I trust my name and know
better of what I have to say
to my body for whom I want to escape.
I want to recognize how I survived.


from pages 270-271 of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (First Anchor Books, 1998).

Steal

Steal

The gloss
of tongue with its peach
leather tastes of girls.
I steal
evening in my mouth and resent
the sky in urge.


from pages 80-81 of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (First Anchor Books, 1998).

Danger

Danger

The pigeons gave up
death rather
than wish their legs lay.
They wanted to keep
the silence of us
watching as the only danger.


from pages 70-71 of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (First Anchor Books, 1998).

Impossible

Impossible

This
is in my
head.
I should stop.
I did the impossible
and dreamed
I was a girl.
A smile that
must make good
of my trouble.


from pages 134-135 of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (First Anchor Books, 1998).