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  • Claire Bernay

Containment Breach

I’m a woman shaped creature

in that I am no woman.

“Creature,” she calls me, “Breathe deep.”

And I inhale the fumes she pumps into my container,

toxic, painless breath on my tongue.

“Creature,” she says, “Knock. It. Off.”

But I can’t stop moving,

or I’ll die, shark-like in nature.

I’m a containment breach waiting to happen

in that it’ll be horrifying when I get out.

When I get it together, I’ll be monstrous,

like a lioness when she’s prepared to hunt,

a cheetah braced to spring forward,

a crazed beast keen to trample, purge, and destroy.

“Monster,” she names me, “Come when you are called.

Obey my words and act like a lady.”

But I have no softness, no gentle manners.

I am no daughter, no mother, no sister or friend.

I’m a woman shaped creature.

About the Author

Claire Bernay is a creator. She loves pottery, writing, crocheting, and painting. When she is not creating art, literary or visual, she is reading. Claire wants to do everything but mostly make meaningful and pretty art. Her experiences bleed into her art and inspire her to create. Claire’s creative nonfiction has been published in The Southern Quill (2021). Her poetry has been published through The Southern Quill (2020), Kaleidoscope (2020), and Poems of Summer (2022).


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