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Jasmin Roberts, performing “The Scorpion & The Turtle”.
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Transcript provided by YouTube (unedited)
for Christine Blasi Ford the Scorpion
asked the turtle for a ride across the
water the turtle says I’m afraid you’ll
the Scorpion promises he won’t because
then he would just drown – the Scorpion
hops on the turtles back and stings him
he says I can’t help it it’s my nature
I shared a womb with male priviledge we
dumped our bath toys in the toilet as
toddlers climbed fences in second grade
spent hours making him pretty playing
Jasmine’s beauty shop I read his books
to him in high school filled out his
college applications all for him to drop
out and question my intelligence my twin
brother doesn’t believe me when I tell
him that I have had to kick 23 his men
in the dick wants to know if they all
really were asking for it or maybe if I
was he doesn’t understand the threat of
rape thinks I should wait for a man to
come for me to strike he is 6 feet 3
inches tall all 300 pounds of him are
so he’s hell-bent on convincing me that
not all of the 23 would have assaulted
me he doesn’t know that in a fight that
your gender has already lost you
hesitating could cost you your life
he says I must attract this kind of
violence maybe the way a deer attracts
its predator by existing the way a black
back attracts a bullet by daring to
stand so straight this boy who had to
pick me to play at recess because the
other boys wouldn’t because somehow my
jump shot didn’t speak for itself until
a boy spoke for me this man who wrestled
with me into our 18th year knowing full
well his strength putting me into gentle
leg locks and fake chokehold succumbing
to the wriggling feet and tickling
fingers I used to beat him laughing at
certainty of the Scorpion and the turtle
playing together but now I want to drown
him for his nature yes I say I have
kicked 23 men in the dick and I don’t
regret not waiting to see which ones
were going to sting me for my trouble I
was conceived bathed and raised with the
Scorpion and now that we are full-grown
I cannot look at him he is a terrifying
funhouse mirror image of me the way he
is so big and I am so small the way he
is so dangerous and I am in danger my
twin brother believes the threat is
mostly imaginary and I am too old to
wrestle with him now and isn’t that what
it is to be born in this body to be too
tired to fight but too stubborn to lie
down and die to feed the souls of the
boys who will later speak you out of
existence he has a daughter now I watch
him cast her as the turtle I wonder how
old she will be the first time his
scorpion tongue says something that
makes her want to drown him too
This post was previously published on YouTube.
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