steel girl

take my melted flesh and bones
pour them into this hourglass
let them set until
the heat fades
these pliant steel struts
wrap around me, I am chosen
I am a steel girl, laced in the past
half history, half whispered triumph.

I received a corset for my birthday, made at Lace Embrace Atelier in Vancouver, BC. It’s the loveliest thing I’ve ever owned. So many people pitched in to make it happen, it was incredible. My friends are the best friends since chocolate dipped pretzels.

When I wear it, sometimes I feel like I’m nullifying decades of feminism and battles for women’s rights, but then I think “it’s my right to wear what I like, and what I like happens to be a corset”. I wasn’t born in the wrong era, I was born in exactly the right one: where a girl can wear jeans one day and a corset/crinoline/bloomers/skirt/blouse outfit the next. I can get tattoos and piercings, go to university, speak my opinion freely, and vote on election day. I can learn my favourite things from every era and chances are, there will be a subculture in Vancouver replete with weekly or monthly events and like-minded people for me to share my interests with. Burlesque is making a comeback. Steampunk was invented. We have healthcare and plumbing and corsets and pocket watches and Lindy Hop, and I plan on revelling in every patchwork minute of it.

© Emily Bragg 2013

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this cage

stacked accusations
tempered by blind apathy
who hurts now; later

repents with spun words.
quietly justified, he
builds his blind fortress.

girl wings flutter, strain;
he forges two more cage bars.
torn feathers, wild eyes.

silence sometimes stops
but go is waiting, waiting.
then she flies too far.

hurt masked by kindness
swiftly sours to black demands;
damp down clings softly.

let her go, I scream
feathers rustle, two eyes open
“i can mend this cage”

whispered words through bars
this cage will not be mended;
girl wings realigned.

she climbs aerial
cage and sour scent fades on high
and healing begins.

© Emily Bragg 2013