She is a kingdom

contained within herself,

A menagerie of half-formed beasts

human-faced,

stampeding against her ribcage,

Oceans flowing

Around cartilage-capped bone,

Seagulls’ cries escaping

salt brine lips.

She is a universe,

A supernova caged

In the cavity of her chest,

Galaxies pulsing

Between her fingertips,

She, skies infinite

She is cut apart,

Halved at the waist,

Her torso becomes flat skies.

Her face, petrified,

a pale moon hovering,

phantom, overhead.

Her thighs become earth, dark soil

Breasts fall into mountains,

Tears fill rivers,

And her breath hovers, fog

in winter air.

She is a planet,

Pieces of herself scattered

Over a world created

In her wake,

A crime scene

She, the evidence.

He buries the bloody sword

That cut her to pieces,

Buries and forgets,

Blood seeping beneath

Walked-on ground.

He treads heavily

On her spine,

Bruises blossoming green on her flesh.

He washes his hands clean

And forgets her face.

He calls her vessel,

Calls her sacrificial offering

Calls her anything but her name,

Anything but kingdom, universe.

Why is it always she who must bleed,

Who must render herself offering,

Conduit of creation?

Why is it always she who ends up in pieces?


For Cherwell, maintaining editorial independence is vital. We are run entirely by and for students. To ensure independence, we receive no funding from the University and are reliant on obtaining other income, such as advertisements. Due to the current global situation, such sources are being limited significantly and we anticipate a tough time ahead – for us and fellow student journalists across the country.

So, if you can, please consider donating. We really appreciate any support you’re able to provide; it’ll all go towards helping with our running costs. Even if you can't support us monetarily, please consider sharing articles with friends, families, colleagues - it all helps!

Thank you!