creating me [using words]

I Gazed Upon a Pornographic Picture

Staring at her bared anus, I have thought many thoughts:



She’s naked
Do I hate her
Or pity her
(envy her
I think not

Why is she naked?
Does she feel free
Or wanted
Like in a poster
“10k—Dead or Alive”
How much alive is she
Do the greedy chasers
slowly kill her
hunting bounty
or does she control the prize
by her own power?
Is it power
to be wanted
or chain?
To manipulate demand
to force a head to turn
an eye to stare
does it feel like having a voice
Why not use your lips, your brain
unless you lose
against the brawn of bigger men
then find the thing that fells them.
Who wins now?
Or has everybody lost?


Was she forced against her will?
Or did she think this was the only
way to get noticed?

I wonder.


Has anyone
ever told her
she matters?
Has anyone
ever been gentle
with her heart?

Does she do this for money
for kicks and giggles
for thrill and pleasure
to feel alive
or to stay alive?
Is she desperate or confused?
Is she happy?

Who is she?

Did she set out
to wreck marriages,
tease men?
Was this who she
dreamed of becoming
at six on the swing set
at school?

Who was she?

Is this all
she will ever be?
A naked woman?
Does she have a future?
Will anyone help her
find it?

Who will she become?


The hand over her breast—
All else is exposed.
Is this a tease
or a last-ditch effort
at self-possession?


a lamp, a phone
alarm clock on a nightstand
beside the bed where she poses
Is this her dorm room
or a set in which to pose?

Who holds the camera?
Someone who pretended
to love her once?
How much money does he pocket
as dispenser of her goods?
Does he think her low
or does he think of her at all?
Is he the man
who dreams up acts
and calls his props
the whore?


I notice
her head is turned away.
I would turn my head too—
wouldn’t you?


I cannot stop thinking about her
and other faceless victims
and the anger I feel at men
who ignore their deep and abiding shame

Shame exists for a reason,
(though it is oft’ misapplied)
But shame is a worthy feeling
For the one who profits from rape


She is inviting you—
Just look at that pose.
The message couldn’t be clearer—
You are wanted,
You nameless man
behind the screen
who hasn’t showered


Go ahead.
Pretend to f—her.


And if I were to hold nothing back at all, to the men I would say:

This is your sister
This is your daughter
This is your mother,
Your wife, your friend

This is a woman,
A human being
With a heart
With a story
With a life
Of wounds
And dreams

Who knows why
she poses so
but she couldn’t, wouldn’t
if you had not forgotten
her soul
deprecated her sisterhood
disowned her as your daughter
shunned the womb that brought you life
spurned the love that held you tight

men bleed hatred
for our race
who knows why?
we have poured out our love
given ourselves away
only to be ravaged
again and again
by the thirsty men
who will not slay their thirst
any other way
than to deny our humanity

they write books
create philosophies
talk amongst themselves
to find the complex reasons
for their treacheries
words upon intelligent words
to shield them from looking
in the eyes of a woman
to see her

better to watch an anus
than see a soul
who could fight back


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6 thoughts on “I Gazed Upon a Pornographic Picture

  1. Kyndall,

    Thank you for your continued brutal honesty. I don’t know what draws these things out of you right now, but they are words that hold power and truth… difficult truth, but truth nonetheless. As a man in a culture bent on distorting sexuality and objectifying women, I have fallen prey to the siren song of instant gratification as most of us have in one way or another. I am complicit in so many ways.

    These words, however, bring the possibility of healing, hope and restoration to wholeness for men and women. Confession of our sin and complicity in the systems and culture that make these things possible is the only way forward. Thanks again for your vulnerability. We (I) need to hear this honesty to break through the fog that hangs over us and veils our eyes.

    • Lucas, thank you for sharing. I get scared to put such raw thoughts out there, but they churn inside me, begging for an outlet.

      I am glad to know you heard the strains of healing, hope, and restoration behind the stark language.

  2. I am also a lover of your honesty. These words are true and should be spoken.

  3. Traci Smith on said:

    Thanks for this, Kyndall. Saw it on our common bloggers FB page. So thought provoking. I thought about how your questions apply to all of us in all the many ways we are vulnerable and exposed, and it made my brain hurt. Intense. (Evidence that what you write is good art, in my opinion.)

  4. Kelsey Rothaus on said:

    The brutal honesty of this post brought tears to my eyes and made me feel so much. I read this post for the first time about a month or two ago and I have thought about it almost every day since. Thank you for sharing this, Kyndall.

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creating me [using words]


creating me [using words]

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