Womanly Wiles

they say I’ll get by on my womanly wiles, 

but I don’t know what the hell they mean:

my degrees? my smiles? my drive? my style?

my wiles?

my wiles!

my wiles.

my wiles are a snake in the sea.


XX marks the spot of my Temptress

the power thrust upon flesh 

my body weaponised without me, 

my scent a poison gas

for the wiles of a woman are deadly, 

to the ones who made it that.


they call it this, they call it that, 

innate power they can’t resist,

for it’s the wiles they are scared of, the wiles that will win.

stigmatise and cover your eyes because women get you 

with their looks

they trick you

and deceive you

you’re on the rocks

you’re on the hook.


they gave my flesh this power, 

saw it for the man,

yet if I choose to recognise and utilise this gift

I am sinner and a trickster

a godless godly gift.


I see my body and I apologise 

for all that’s said to me


for you are not a weapon, and you are not a trick

you are human being

Grace Kelsey

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