Not, Never I

by Renwick Berchild

Surrender, not I,
I will pluck a stem of hemlock, eat it,

let be licked by a savage storm at sea, no havens
no safe harbors for me, I would rather be beaten

than surrender, rather be severed from my legs
than lie down, rather run

to fight again, flee into the endarkened sky
than mold from the rock my own tomb, write instructions

that you have instructed that I have not consented
—no, not I, I will cut out my own womb,

pluck free my eye, cut off my own arm
if it frees me, if it shines, if gods

have it, I promise to writhe
in every limitation, every homage insisted given

I would riven heart from my body,
shout to the empyrean, declare

no holy shall have its way unless I say,
wipe my red hot defiance over every gateway, I won’t

bow my gaze, divert
these words, unless it is concurred, blessed

by me; you may rage, and rage, and rage, but until I step,
I’ll never agree.

You’ll not have me.

3 Comments to “Not, Never I”

  1. There’s this fire in it, which I liked it so much. It’s an wonderful feeling, so inspiring!

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