A woman, getting older
Instead of colder
With two strong shoulders
Beneath a head swirling with things I told her:
That being alone and being sober
Turn you into a female soldier
The first to admit
her needs don’t include a man to fit her
For the sister glitters without a mister
Wants no other to need or complete her
Her independence is transcendence
And no one person’s entrance could possibly end it
Or so I told her
Then one day
Because her knees were weaker
The days tasted sweeter
And as if it had been eager to meet her -
Love greeted her
And in just a moment
Her heart burst wide open
She found that it had her feeling
Like someone peeling back the covers
Who then discovers
That the world has secret colors
And she was just now able to see them
Now, behold her:
A woman, growing younger
Filled with a new and lovely hunger
That will make her fight through rain and thunder
To simply watch her lover slumber
They say that age is just a number
And if that’s true
Then growing up
Is merely showing up
To the possibility
Of falling, headfirst, into opportunity
And perhaps maturity
Is understanding life will treat you brutally
And just as often beautifully
To lean into that lunacy
Is to be behaving humanly
Maybe love is that confusing dichotomy?
So behold her:
A woman, timeless, on the rise.
A belly full of butterflies
A heart of easy compromise
Sunrise dawning in his eyes
Moonlight resting on their thighs
She needs him, but she needs him not
Love simply isn’t what I thought -
Truly a better endeavor
Than I was ever taught.
So I did not plan it
And I may not understand it
But by god
I now demand it
We hope you enjoyed this beautiful piece written by Anna Snedden.
I appreciate my vagina. I do.
This thought kept going through my head as I used the bathroom in the Vegas airport during my layover cause damn it, I appreciate my vagina. I do.
I was flying solo, which meant I was getting drunk solo, which led to ordering Burger King solo. And, then I realized, I'm a goddamn champion. And, it's because of my vagina.
My vagina keeps me sane. If my vagina's healthy, I'm healthy. If my vagina feels good, I feel good. If someone messes with my vagina, I’ll fuckin’ kill you.
But, it didn’t always used to be that way. I didn’t always appreciate my vagina. There was a time when I hated my vagina.
I grew up in a house with 3 brothers. My mom took incredible care of us- we’re very close- but anything pertaining to, or in mention of the vagina was off limits. Not because my mom was being neglectful; it was because I’d rather get my leg gnawed off slowly by an army of angry mice than to have to look at a simple, hand-drawn diagram of my fallopian tubes. Ew. I got home from school, and my mom said, “Emily”, and waved me into the kitchen. I sat down awkwardly on a stool at our island table, like omg, what is it mom. She scribbled something onto an index card and slowly slid it in front of me. It was a very simply drawn picture of a uterus. The f*ck is wrong with you?! is what I wanted to say. Instead, I looked up with an expression of full on hatred. I don’t know if you’ve seen a tiny, prepubescent girl in the shape of a twig turn into a raging baby alcoholic, but I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what happened. I’d been successfully pushing off this conversation since my grandma bought me a bra for christmas when I was 9. The f*ck is wrong with you?!
My mom quickly rattled off the briefest explanation as to what a period is, and why I will want to kill myself. She did this because she knew, based on past experience, that she had about 5 seconds before I got pissed and started throwing shit, and bolted for the closest door or open window. I didn't wanna talk about it!
I don’t know if it’s because I wasn’t used to talking about female stuff, or because I just wanted to be one of the guys, but I felt super weird about it. My mom eventually resorted to getting one of those period books about Sally accidentally getting period blood on her gym uniform and having to ask her friend to borrow a tampon. It was in one of those books that I learned how to put in my own tampon. It was also in one of those books that I learned my boobs might not fully develop until the age of 18. I had time.
However, I did have a slight change of heart once my friends started getting their periods, and marking their calendars. And then I was like F*ck. When am I gonna get mine?! Oh, I got it. 4 years later. Then I got braces, almost simultaneously. Then some kid in Chemistry said I had hairy arms. High school was good.
At this point, I wanted to know more, more than just the basic period stuff. More about my vagina. But, for some reason I still couldn’t talk about it. Then college happened, and ya know, ya get drunk. And you eat mcdonald’s sitting on a curb, and ya pass out on a couch next to a hairy dude wearing a pair of fairy wings. You maybe kiss a girl for the first time. Maybe you like it, maybe you don’t, maybe you’re too drunk to know. Then you start to see this guy, not the hairy dude, another guy, a cuter guy, and you have sex. For the first time. And, you make him wear two condoms at once just to make sure. And, then after two periods and 3 pregnancy tests, you still think maybe you’re pregnant because you “feel” like maybe you’re pregnant and it doesn’t matter that 3 tests came back negative or that now you’ve had 3 periods. But the worst part is, you feel dirty. And not in the good way. And then he never texts you back.
That’s when I started talking. I just, I needed some answers and there was no way in hell I wasn't gonna talk to my mom, so my roomie- my best friend - became my therapist, and my own instant pocket comedian. She’s the best. Things got better, and I started to appreciate my vagina.
When I got older, the subject of my vagina was later replaced with finances. I still won’t talk about em, but I’ll talk about my vaginaaa all damn day.
Oh Veggie Burger,
How did you entrance me?
Mere seduction of my need to feed
Especially on a day I couldn’t eat meat
Such a feat, I never thought would occur
Taste buds on overload, hyper drive, what a blur
To think I avoided your presence
I was self-sentenced to life, as a carnivore
Especially thinking back, before all this
Memories of my youth
Long have I knew
Of my food habits
Rigid, safe guarded
Never would a garden touch these lips
Never would greens and oranges and reds
Breed romance onto my eternal menu
Only tried and true foods
Would pass my tests, and just as all of the rest of my days
I would find ways to bypass the change, the new
So was I afraid of you?
Was I afraid of what I could become?
A predator becoming docile
A lion? No; a goat
Grazing on the landscape
Hopping freely, dancing till sunset
One I hoped would happen for me
As I grew and matured
My horns sharp, my hoofs overworked
To prove my existence to this world
Change became inevitable
The more foreign fields I would graze
Others like me could see the quality
That makes me, me
Smiles all around
So easy to come around to the new
Of wanting to fit in
So change once again rears it’s ugly head
If I were to relate, my palette would be redesigned
Against my better judgment
So reluctant in my attempts
Such weird, hideous looking foods before me
So lewd as they, my friends, viewed
Eyes rudely glued as I tried eating these foods
Hopefully they understood how I excluded so much before
How dare they attempt to woo me?
Collusion aside, nowhere was safe for me to hide
From them, I would renew myself
Bravely included in their shrewdness
Guided, no longer fighting it
Giving in, growing up
Factually enticed by the tastes
My face red, with anger and embarrassment
Anger for the time wasted
Embarrassed of my past omissions
It was now my mission
To reach for the new
To grow I must bestow my head, my horns
Humbly to whatever comes before me
On a mountain, beyond the lakes
The unknown awaits
Such as what I just ate on my plate
Oh Veggie Burger
I whisper my thanks to you
A new chapter can begin
As I finish you and order myself another
Such an honor to find you
After all these years, system reset
Safe to say, on that particular day
On life, not quite full yet.
Andy Quintana is one of our core-members in our live show. We <3 Andy and his veggie burgers.