Dead [Women] Poets Society Blog

Ruth Sutoyé on June Jordan

Updated: Apr 27


The Poem After The Detonating Body Confirmed

by Ruth Sutoyé

after June Jordan


'Is this the way death wins its way against all longing and redemptive thrust from grief?' – June Jordan


Chest rises and falls like memorised song verses

but all staccato,

the wailing begins here.

First-born of all tales is that woman’s womb is an offering basket,

God’s given mandate to multiply and go forth.

First-born of all tales.

Woman – finicky definition to produce an abundance of generations from self.

What a wielding power to covet.


Non-cancerous tumours they say.

Inflamed they say.

Ruptured above uterus detonated, they should say.

Three years only to wield your power they say.


Cut flesh, bruise flesh, burn flesh, failing body.


Chest rises and falls, breathing in descending arpeggio.

Time and I were companions,

became foes,

are now shadows (tracing each other).


Head buried and reburied on each day,

Hope is scheming her return, knowing she is out-powered.

I feel Agony growing new head-legs in my pain buds,