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Tales From the Inferno: Two-Face Job

At my job, I learned dragons are manipulators, coaxing the gentle lamb to approach before roasting it with scorching flames. My boss traveled the lines between a polite, happy boss to a scathing fork-tongued demon. She was friends with most, cackling and having a good time when they came by to discuss business. When they left, flames burst from her mouth, scorching all in sight, so it was best to hide and hope she had forgotten you existed. A two-face dragon, having the keen ability to hide her scowl at the snap of a finger. Many thought she was fair and nice but failed to see her make anyone cry on command.

The dragon hosted a barbecue at her house, a beautiful home in a nice neighborhood. I set my foot and felt the cool air, clear of smoke. She greeted me from the kitchen with a smile, no fangs or claws in sight. Dinner was almost ready, so we waited near the pool, cool and fresh. Everything went well until her roar bellowed from above, commanding her helper to set the food. She barked orders at her guests, us, telling us where to put the food, the drinks, which seats to take. The dragon we all came to expect finally showed itself. We sat to a great dinner―very nice. The gazpacho, lamb, and bread all palatable, just not her flames.

In a single swoop, she insulted two. One for sending a sub-par invitation to all her servants. According to a friend of hers, a vile serpent, called it a low-management retail job. Then the dragon cast its flames on another for having no supervising skills over the invitation. I gasped for air, choking on the smoke as I watched my colleagues scorched in flames.

Imagine to my surprise, when I discovered an article on the Dragon.

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https://twitter.com/ReadingBread

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I’m such a Pussy with love, but why?

Oh love! Love makes you feel warm and fuzzy one minute and the next you want to run away from it, well at least in my case. I’m pretty great at running away when love happens. Maybe it’s my generation and the fucked up ideology that the grass is greener on the DM side. Maybe it’s the fact I have daddy issues and fear of abandonment. Maybe I feel as though leaving them first we I won’t be left feeling stupid when they dump me. Whatever the case is, I’m tired of running.

I want to love, but how? How does the heart let go of the comfort of solitude when for so long its been mistreated. Time? Meditation? Closure? Or do I just go for it and find love? I had no clue, so I stopped looking.  I gave up on my mission and exactly when I did that love found me. What type of love do you ask? The love for myself.  Look, hear me out. In order to love proper you have to be right within. There is no way in hell that you can accept love and give love if you are not right within yourself. It took me a while to self heal from my past, from my abusers, from the lack of love from my father, and most importantly to heal from my fear of abandonment.  Honestly, I’m still healing and still struggling and that’s ok because now I know my truth.  The path to enlightenment starts with facing yourself and your fear. I no longer want to fear love.  Am I ok with the pain attached to love? Maybe, but if I don’t ever try I will never know.

I created this piece because the possibility of love and wild sex has found me and challenged me as of late. I’m excited, scared, and vulnerable. Even with all those emotions, I’m finally ready to let go of my fear.

I dedicate this post and artwork to my self-love and what that energy has brought to my life.

 

-ZaiOhmy

 

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your name is synonymous with music now

my days don’t feel quite right
if you don’t send me a song.
what else should i hear
while emptying my heart
of ghosts? my bones need
something that will burrow
deeply, and remind them that
home can be outside of this body.
and this body needs to remember
that men have died for the songs
of some women, so a moment of
shattering for you is a mere drop
in the oceans i have swallowed
while waiting for revolutions
that become my lullabies

(photo by Oladimeji Odunsi via unsplash)

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God Is Fair, God is Stern, God is Love

Provided a truth among many lies, filled with doubt be running eyes. You played your card, yet you took mine, Stern is the parent’s hand on their child’s behind.

Labeled stone or embrace,

Labeled love or hate,

Mixed illusion of dark and light,

Which one will you take?

 

Forgiver or sinner, loser or winner, An osmosis of finisher and beginner,

which be thinner?

 

Blood, or People’s empty promises? Naysayers and do-haters, be envious and bite like gators, they wait around for your very fall. But God is testing, God has a wrath that’ll deplete it all.

Many will claim they’re there for you.

Claim they have your back, only to never fall through, never keep their word, be enemies who attempt to dissolve you.

 

They ain’t fair,

But God plays fair,

And she’s always there,

And she always cares.

 

She can be stern if you don’t value a lesson,

Not every opportunity is bad. Within each is a blessing.

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#WorthBleedingFor: The Politics of Periods

By Haafizah Bhamjee

Over the past three years, my team at Amnesty International Wits and I have been campaigning on our university campus for free pads. This meant talking about our periods a lot and in a very public way.

 

Donate to #WORTHBLEEDINGFOR

 

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For most of us, this is the first opportunity we have had to speak about menstruation in public. Many girls around the world grow up in homes and communities that restrict what they are allowed to say about their bodies. Speaking of the female body and its functions have always been a big taboo in most cultures. However, this often means that girls and women suffer in silence. Many are unable to speak about the issues that they face daily; one being a lack of access to sanitary products.

According to UNICEF, 1 in 10 school girls in Africa cannot afford sanitary pads. That’s over two million schoolgirls in South Africa alone. A survey we did at Wits University showed that every 1 in 6 students couldn’t afford sanitary products. Many women and girls are forced to use alternative and unhealthy methods of handling their menses. For example, many use old newspaper, rags of cloth and toilet paper in place of pads and tampons. Many more miss out on school, work and other opportunities such as sport. An estimate shows that schoolgirls in South Africa miss out on approximately 70-100 days of school a year, because of a lack of access. This disproportionately impacts girls and women from lower-income communities. It also means that women and girls have fewer opportunities available to them than their male counterparts.

Educating women and girls is the only proven method of reducing poverty in our communities. In a country saddled with political strife, race & sex discrimination and wealth inequality; the conversation around sanitary products is rarely brought to the table. This means our plea often falls on deaf ears. Sanitary products are still taxed as luxury items; something we call the period tax. Earlier this year President Cyril Ramaphosa proposed a 1% tax increase, without considering the implications for poorer communities.

In many ways, menstruation and women’s bodies have become a political conversation. One that we don’t plan on halting any time soon. Through our campaign we have raised funds and donations for students on campus, we have had a march and hand over of demands and we have petitioned 3500 signatures for our course. You can see more of what we are doing by visiting our Instagram (@WorthBleedingFor), Facebook (Amnesty International Wits) and Twitter (@AI_Wits) pages for more information.

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#WORTHBLEEDINGFOR

A woman will have an estimated 450 menstrual cycles during her lifetime; using upwards of 17,000 sanitary pads or tampons comprehensively.  To the women belonging to countries who incorrectly label feminine supplies such as sanitary napkins as luxuries, 450 is the number of missed opportunities to feel supported, humane, hygienic and dignified.  Wits University, Johannesburg (a South African province) is working to implement policies that impact this way of life in a positive way – one feminine hygiene donation at a time; coupled with initiatives aimed to educate women of childbearing age and their communities alike. Continue reading #WORTHBLEEDINGFOR

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Nudity still disguised

 

 

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The Sun and the Moon

And of course, it took nothing from you.
Why would I allow that?
I would never allow the sun
defile the moon.
Each is in their own instances
beautiful,
mystifying,
useful.
And who is not
in love with them both
for a time?
Why then must one choose
this thing or that?
I will take,
have whatever I prefer
during the time
and in the manner
in which I want
and nothing
can done about it.