Jane Walker


Had Columbus been a woman

Let’s call her Cristina

Would’ve she dared to get on a boat with all those men?

Long months on a ship full of drunken sailors

And one lonely chic equipped

With a telescope and a dream.

Who would care?

Who would protect her from danger?

Not the sea monsters and storms

But from thirty-nine starved loins on board?

Why a Walker is always a Johnnie and not a Jane?

Is killing dragons inappropriate in a skirt?

Is crossing seven rivers and seven mountains too risky for a girl?

And what if the only dragon to be scared of is Johnnie himself?

Yet there are thousands Cristinas and Janes

With nomad curiosity in their veins

With their hair in a bun

With their flip-flops in mud

With their fingers on standby

Ready to press Record on that iPhone 5.

They climb volcanoes and sleep in hammocks under open sky

They stay in an ashram for a month

Without a word

So grateful for being

So blessed by the feeling

Of Insatiable Heart.

It’ll never let them give up!

They eat naan from a street market in Mumbai

With a laptop open to write

And share the allure with their sisters and moms

Tricked into thinking

That it’s not for them

That conquering the world with a backpack

Is only for men…

I’m not saying there are no monsters out there…

I met some of them myself.

Emerging from the depths of the night

Or from the safety of a crowd

Sneaky and scared

Far away from the sight of an honest man.

They’re hunting alone

They just touch and go

Let my sisters’ souls bleed on the floor…

Like that lonely night of the first snow in my new home

I didn’t even know that country could get so cold.

I was almost there.

Just one more step on the icy stairs.

The gloves were out and the key was in

And my shivering hands were doing their best.

Couldn’t just wait to pet the cat

And warm my fingers up

With a little tea glass…

But there were other fingers I felt that night

And other were their reasons to hurry.

They penetrated the secrets of my skirt

And in a second put my crotch in alert.

There were words too, like vomit spit to my ear

Words that I couldn’t understand

Gasped quietly in a shaking voice

As if embarrassed themselves of being so gross.

It took all three seconds or so…

And all of them

The fingers

The words

And the man

Ran away.

I turned around too late.

No one would’ve understood my scream either way…

If at least I’d learned how to swear

If at least I’d known one word

That hurt

I would curse

His rotten soul forever!

But he disappeared

In victory

Carrying the precious trophy

On the skin of his hand.

My humiliation and shame.

Why

Why did I wear a skirt?

Oh if you only knew

How with that one filthy gesture you made me feel

Like a piece of shit

Like a rubbish bin

Like the dirtiest sin

How you made me regret

I’M A WOMAN

How you made me ashamed

Of my curves

My heels

My entire being?

ME?!

The Powerful Queen!

The Empress!

The Priestess!

The Almighty Mistress!

The Womb of the Universe!

The Goddess for Goddess’s sake!

You, with your condemned hands

With your grudged lips

For a moment you made me think

It was my fault!

Maybe that was the point

Maybe that turned you on

I will never know.

But listen to this.

Even with a man masturbating to me in a bus

With offers to get a ride from old satires

With a pool boy unintentionally rubbing his hand against my breast

With a hurried anonymous touch in a jam-packed train

With a nasty gasp in the phone, asking if I’m a whore

With a stalker in a shopping mall

With a group of guards discussing my ass

With shouts and whistles on the street

Uuuy mami que rica ven aqui!

Even with that

I still choose to explore that path!

Whatever happens

I’m one of the Janes.

Astonished! Amazed!

With the baklava taste

Lost in the gaze at Cappadocia caves

Thrilled by the reckless ride in the 4×4 in Tioman

Exhilarated by the Sun kissing sand of Cahuita beach

High-spirited by the sip of coco loco drink

Breath-taken by the carnival’s rhythm and noise

By the flour and foam

By the scents and colors

By the water battle, nargile smoke and red-eyed frog

Immersed in the magic of Ayahuasca song

Swirled in the salsa spin till the break of dawn

Till my heart stops

I will always be fucking in love with this world!

Despite the sea monsters

Dragons on fire

Bad spirits hidden in shade

We

Janes 

Will not be afraid

To travel

And rule.

This is our world too!

POEM FEATURED IN THE NOVEL HAPPY EVER(YWHERE) AFTER.

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