black pearls

By 
Jónína Kirton

inspired by and a few lines taken from Simon de Beauvior’s Second Sex

black pearls on a string
when young lustrous
men dazzle yet frighten us
for many our first encounters a plundering
the thread broken
and we all fall to the ground
roll away from one another
the descent begins
echoes of childhood become faint
arrayed    prepared    we flutter
we become that door that goes on opening
within us the place where everything converges
that rupture with the past
unexpected    brutal
sanctified and not sanctified
he stiffens like a bow    discharges
feminine flesh     prey        no pray
for these repercussions will be felt
for the rest of our lives

dispersed among men
without recourse    under siege
our body to be managed
a mystery to be conquered
a crest    a song
where he surpasses himself
while we must remain enclosed
our body a situation filled with opportunity

Jónína Kirton, a prairie born Métis/Icelandic poet and facilitator, currently lives in the unceded territory of the Coast Salish people. She regularly seeks to open herself to her body and to what the ancestors have to offer. Her work has been featured in a number of anthologies and literary journals including, Ricepaper’s Asian/Aboriginal Issue, V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown EastsideOther Tongues: Mixed Race Women Speak OutPagan EdgeFirst Nations DrumToronto Quarterly, and Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine. Her first book, page as bone ~ ink as blood, was released by Talonbooks in April 2015. She joined Room Magazine’s Editorial Board in early 2015 and is also a member of the Simon Fraser University’s Writer’s Studio Advisory Board. This poem is from her forthcoming book An Honest Woman (Talon Books 2017) and is published here as part of the No Comment project.


More Writing from the No Comment Project

No Comment by Alessandra Naccarato
Erase and Rewind by Meghan Bell
White house, where some family lived upstairs by Chelene Knight
Loyalty and Violence by Ruth Daniell
Burning Bridges by Joelle Barron
Penknife by Ellie Sawatzky
for play by Kayla Czaga
back, cover by Elaine Corden
Sex Work Solidarity as Healing by Amber Dawn
I Was Once That Girl by Jen Sookfong Lee
On Receiving Bad News by Mallory Tater
The Disappearing Woman by Leah Horlick
Boys Will Be Boys by Dina Del Bucchia
Nicomekl River by Claire Matthews
Knowing Better by Anonymous
Monster by Mikiko Galpin
Reframing the Montréal Massacre by Maureen Bradley
Testimony, Part X by Anonymous
Broken Heart Emoji, Crystal Ball Emoji, Stars Emoji by Kyla Jamieson
Bits by Carleigh Baker
Metamorphosis 6: 401-674: A Paraphrase in Still Pictures by Annick MacAskill
black pearls by Jónína Kirton
Not Yet by Juliane Okot Bitek
Sei Turni (6 spells for #CanLit) by Amber Dawn

Currently on Newsstands

  • Room 39.4, This Body's Map
    Edited by Chelene Knight

    In this issue:

    Marianne Apostolides, Kate Balfour, andrea bennett, June Beshea, Tatiana Bobko, Nicole Breit, Logan Broeckaert, Claire Caldwell, Lizzie Carr, Nicole Chin, Deirdre Daly, Samantha deVries-Hofman, Chantal Gibson, Jane Flett, Jónína Kirton, Jen Sookfong Lee, Cyndi MacMillan, Catherine Mellinger, Sylvia McFadden, SheLa E. Nefertiti Morrison, Lindsay Nixon, Ezi Odozor, Melanie Pierluigi, Natalie Wee, Kobina Wright, Beni Xiao

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