Keep Out


By. Cali Pitchel

This is my home. You are not welcome here. It is invite only, no guests are permitted. Me, only me, I decide who walks through these doors, who wanders these halls.

Don’t you get it? I own this property, and the law says I can shoot you if you trespass. My mouth is a sawed off shotgun. Step one foot on my body and I will blow your goddamn head off.

I learned this from you, you know? This house, and these walls, I built them with blood and tears and "no, please, you’re hurting me." The mortar is your sweat. I architected this home from your gaze, the way you trace my body, my mouth, with your eyes.

This is not your fucking mouth. This is not your fucking body. How many times do I have to say no?

I told you, I’ll use this goddamn shotgun. There’s no silencer, no silencing. I will make a loud noise, and I will paint my body with your blood. My prize. My war paint.

Enter this territory at your own risk. I am voice to my power. And my power comes from the mothers and the sisters. I hang their spirits over my door, I burn their sage on my threshold. They are my protectors. The screams of the mothers and the sisters are my alarm, my siren. May their cries pierce your eardrums. May their blood drip from your eyes.

My eyes are an ocean too deep, and you will drown in these eyes of steel. I wasn’t born with eyes of steel, you know? I was born with the softest eyes. My eyes of metal have been forged by your fingers, by your hands. The ones you used to bruise my sides.

I begged you to stop: “You’re hurting me." You didn’t stop. You never stop. When will you stop?

How many times must I press my gun to your lips? I take no pleasuring in pulling this trigger. The pleasure you took, you robbed from me.

I will wipe the blood from your mouth with my own fingers, and I will taste your steel.

Why is there steel in your blood, brother? Who did this to you? Who taught you how to trespass? To turn my soft eyes hard. To provide for me the raw material to build my house of blood and sweat and tears?

Cali Pitchel Schmidt lives in Seattle with her husband, Chris, and their giant Ficus plant. She's a creative director at Belief Agency, and in her spare time she pretends she's a painter and a poet. Her favorites include: fancy French wine, expensive dark chocolate, and getting her feet rubbed.