untethered flight

Poetry by Linda M. Crate  ∞ Art by Tony Citelli


i just needed

to come


to wash away

everything of us

so i can

find some sort of


and it’s so hard

when i remember the shards

you buried so deep

within my heart;

i am in the mood for total war—

yet i cannot hide

beneath the facade of an innocent

should i become a monster,

and so i let the kraken


anger would only serve to destroy


i thought you were my tuxedo mask,

but you were

prince diamond

your kiss brought me no relief from the darkness

of the wounds i suffered,

and i realized you

were the source of the ailment;

so like a frightened bird i fled into the sky and i haven’t

looked back since—

my freedom


too sweet to remain

in your tethers.


don’t tell me it’s not important

you say that there are

more important matters to

discuss at this time,

but i am betting that’s because

you’re not a woman;

and you’ve never had to deal

with unwanted attention

from strangers

as you walk down the sidewalk

or through the mall or

anywhere there may be someone

to catcall or harass you—

but women are

not the punchline of jokes

or your piece of sexual gratification,

and you cannot just grab us

by our pussies

or put us down and expect that there

won’t be consequence

this rape culture is not okay

it’s never the fault of the victim;

so don’t tell me there are bigger issues—

if we don’t talk about this now

when will we?

people need to be taught respect,

boundaries, and know that rape is never okay

and treating people like lesser simply because they’re

different is not okay;

we should all feel comfortable walking down the streets

and living in our own skin.

we need change

you want me to lay


be your docile little


arm-candy who doesn’t utter

a word or put a toe

out of line,

but i don’t cater to misogynist

you’ll hear my voice;

women have died for their “right” to

vote so don’t tell me we

don’t need feminism

or that it’s


because everyone should be able to

live for a better future—

i’m so tired of

your damned pedestals and glass


watch as i shatter them all

because my sisters are tired of it, too,

and we will be silent no longer;

i am the daughter of the


will hit you like a hurricane with

my primordial rage—

i am done being the brunt of your jokes

done with being a sexual object

for your gratification

done accepting the lies they’ve always

told me to swallow,

and i’m done pretending that i can deal with this

because i can’t

things need to change.


i am not a god

not all men

are monsters and not all

women are saints,

and virtue

knows no sex or age or race;

you cannot play the victim

when you have made the circumstances

for this boxing ring

picking fights you knew you couldn’t


don’t burn your bridge with me

then expect me to send you

a boat

because i won’t,

and i won’t defend someone who doesn’t

know the meaning of loyalty or integrity

don’t use me as a reference

for your future

because i’m only a pillar of your past—

your hands reach for me,

but i am gone;

i never was yours because you never wanted me,

and you just want me now

because i am gone

it just doesn’t work that way

no more will i sit

behind your gilded cage and wilt all my petals

away to nothing simply to bloom again

knowing you’ll always want me

to crucify myself to be

your savior;

i am not a god

just a girl who’s trying to change the world.

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. Recently her two chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013) and Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014) were published. Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015.  Her poetry collection Sing Your Own Song is forthcoming through Barometric Pressures Series.


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