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POETRY / Start With Woman / Tai Farnsworth / Writer of the Month


Start with a tree standing tall, roots pushing into resistant earth. Roots persisting, unyielding. Roots holding strong, not letting go, roots bursting through the sidewalk. Start with a stream. No, a river, a rush of water, turning rocks into sand. A river wearing away its edges. A river sometimes sweet and meandering, sometimes deadly. Start with wind. Wind rustling hair and cooling sweat on backs. Wind both soft and hard, giving and taking. Wind to bring flowers and wind to rip houses from their foundations, tear at the sky. Start with a flame. Fire from love. Human fire made with crushed mouths and desperate tongues. Fire that rarely burns but always can. Start with the ocean. Salty, warm, wet. Ocean for cradling bodies, rocking them to sleep, holding them close. Ocean for pounding and sweeping away. Ocean to create and ocean to destroy. Start with the sun. Hot and unforgiving. The sun to bring warmth, the sun to set everything ablaze. Sun to kiss, for eternity. Start with the moon. Full and bright. Sitting in the sky like a promise. Sometimes a grin, sometimes a perfect O. Tempting an orgasm. Start with brilliance, and kindness, and fury, and rage. Start with yes and no and maybe. Start with bitch and cunt, goddess and queen, more and more and more. Start with you. Start with me. Start with us. Start with woman. Start with Woman.

previously published in Sinister Wisdom

Tai Farnsworth is a mixed-race, queer writer based in Los Angeles who earned her MFA in writing from Antioch University. Her work can be found in 'The Quotable,' 'CutBank Literary,' 'The Evansville Review,' 'Homology Lit,' and 'Sinister Wisdom.' She's presently shopping around her young adult book about a girl discovering her bisexuality in the wake of her boyfriend's death. She was also a 2018 YA Mentee through We Need Diverse Books.