poetry by Savannah Schultz
My body has not been my body,
it was always someone else’s.
Flesh and blood,
consumed like Holy Sacrament.
I’d like to be the one to tell them
who puts what where,
How long, how much?
This time, a fair price:
my heel on someone else’s jaw,
was the only way to feel control again.
There are so many sides to this,
so many ways it could go, but do not
feel sorry for us -
Times are changing, we are almost
Upright Citizens of the Law,
We are nearly whole.
Do not feel sorry for us -
I own all my lifetimes,
and all of my names.
I’ve been performing long before the first time I walked up on stage.
I was child just wanting to be seen,
you never let me disappear.
So when that great force struck you down with a lightning bolt fist to your chest
I performed my grief for ghosts.
They hated that,
flew around the room in a tizzy,
ghastly winds whipping ropes of hair at my face,
haunting choir ripping me limb from limb,
bleating for it to change,
but impossible to differentiate who,
was making those noises.
I walk up stone steps to meet a bloated carcass
that everyone believes is you.
Now I can’t tell you, Francis,
now I can’t tell you,
just how much a woman still needs you.
Raised Catholic and currently a practitioner of witchcraft, my work speaks to the sacred and Divine as much as it does to the ordinary, corporeal, and of-this-world. Often confessional, I explore what it means to feel lost in hostility at the limitations of my own physical body, how I reclaimed ownership of my body through transgression ("Sacred/Profane"), the death of a loved one while on the precipice of womanhood ("Girl"), the every day magic of listening to your close friend tell a story, or the ephemeral heaven of being known for the first time by a lover. I strive to blur the lines between what is seen and unseen; what is beautiful and pure, and what is just as beautiful in its dirtiness. Each poem is a exercise in ritual magic.
~ Savannah Schultz
Savannah Schultz is a writer and poet from the Canadian prairies. She currently lives in Edmonton, Alberta on Treaty 6 territory. You can find her soon to be released collaboration of experimental music and spoken word at limina.bandcamp.com and on social media at @unspecifiedbody.