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Image by Abhishek Koli

The Verge

By: Emma Tenzler

Part I: Identity

At the verge the


tips into night

My hope spreads its wings

like swallows in flight


Your daughter loves the sin

I left behind my bird of hope and lived

six lives


You never told me women are cats

every time we die we lock another feather away

into ourselves

We hunt mice at night

but under the suns scowling gaze

we swap our fangs for tongues that sound

but never speak

of the rattling within

does compliance make me guilty or weak?



I am young and I long for the sin

in light of day at the shore

I tread on the spines of all the women

that burnt themselves

so I could use their backs as mine

I am so sorry


I am not as bold as you

At the verge

the sea is only ever blue.


My goddess says

find the prison within


I locked myself and swallowed the key

It is cold in the dark can you

feel me

or am I alone the nights long victim?


I think my breasts are my prison

my ass an offense

the fulness of my lips

the dip in my hips

my lashes too long to decipher a truth

my mind like my hair-child!-too loose

too aloof.

The prison is the slender of my hands

that are Red

from the burden of lifetimes

as a victim.


Part II: Abuse

The moon´s long haul of despair caresses the sky


caresses my thigh

Love does not abuse


my thighs-the night sky

black and blue and bruised

My body a vessel you say

Well, at the verge my marble be used.


My voice-dawn your hands-the fog

horses hide in in the morning

(beyond their hooves my hope sings)

Thrash thrash

against the throttle of the ring

If my eyes are the moon

then your fists are the sun

at the verge

I´m briefly awesome.


Part III: History

I trace the veins back

To the roots of my hair


Berlin, 1945

The women carry the burden of guilt upon their thighs

With each thrust purged clean from the sins

of by a land ruled by men

This is not to say that we are innocent

This is to say that we were never given a choice


Only a birthed boy

Is worthy of gods rejoice


China, last century

Girls bodies grace the grounds of wells

water pulling at her limbs that

twist with possibilities of a life unlived

the thread cut through before the

reel was ever unrolled

life lulled life into death

Imperial sky at the verge of magnificence

To say


The inherit sin does not burden us

Jesus did not die for you

We cannot blame ourselves on hell

Was it not us who built the well?

Were not the 3 fates 3 women too?

Does womanhood exist in immortality?

This is not to say that we are innocent

This is to say that we were never given a choice


No birthed girl was ever

worthy of gods rejoice.


Part IV: Prayer

Lilith my sister I see you

Eve my goddess I feel you

Hera my queen I kneel to you

The witness laps up history waves

come and go

time is neither fast nor slow below


my feet timeless water tensed and curled

at the verge

We made the world.


Part V: Love

I look in the sea

but I do not see me


a reflection on love

a clown in the clothes of a lion

love is

a torso at war with itself

love is me dragged across the ocean

to demise

unable to halt unwilling to explain

as simple as sea foam

love is pain

love love love is two chins just touching

love is an old man at the verge

eyes cloudy with reminiscence

tongue hungry for recognition once more

clutching and retching on some forgotten shore

love is the verge

old man-one last burnt sun

love is the shore and the ship that never comes.


Part VI: Release

At the verge


the sky

tips into night

and in this sacred second

of not quite night and not quite day

my hope and I

watch life’s unfolding play


I leave my hope behind

And ram into the face

of this ground built by men

but bled for by women

a knife.

Time tumbles I hope things will change

My hope is a bird inside of me

It rattles against its cage

I ram into my father’s face

a knife


At the verge

We are alive.

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