The Borrowed Girls

Bio: Octavia Akoulitchev is 18, and lives in Oxford. She loves poetry, blues music, absurdist literature, and tiramisu. Her feminist role models range from Simone de Beauvoir to Inga Muscio.

I don’t think it’s so much a hiatus
as a sort of tenderness to oneself. Survival
and a retrenching from
the path you’ll end up taking for you
when you trust the pitch of your voice again.
It’s going to last until the flood of
blood pools to equilibrium,
just in time, one hopes, to gasp for thick
But until then: let’s fold tabulae rasae out of our
pates, and give away the best parking space
To the boy. With benevolence and grace.
We’ll be hapless and sweet as
During this silvery drowning:
Woolf will be dead,
replaced, to everyone’s relief,
with synthetic padding and
hidden pregnancy-stick tests.
We’ll think we are finally glimpsing the circumference of our lives
from this new position of pleasing.
But then. Swift.
As when you’ve just forgotten the sugar for
your tea, we will rise,
as if we always knew we would.
We will have sex and relish it and talk about it afterwards. Blithely, proudly.
With everyone. With the postman.
And read out the good bits of
“The Second Sex” on the metro.
And get the shaded parking space, because we want to,
and we’re faster than you when we want to be.
When they flick the sheep heart’s blood at us in the science lab
to make us scream and feign gentleness,
we’ll make tribal face paint out of it and dance
like Bacchus worshippers,
all together.
The trajectories of our spinning
will disseminate through the room,
like breath.

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