By. Leah Baker

when you come to a woman and ask her to open for you
she might invite you into that warm space
into that sacred space
into that deep
and aching space
that longs to be longed for
she might invite you into that dry space
sucked of its wind by a world that says to her, give, give, give
she might invite you into that red space
once violated
twice violated
and that holy space that has been ripped through
she will hold warm for you
she will hold you inside of it
she will make room where there wasn't any
she will mold her shape to you
and she will open
somehow, open
though she has already been more open
than she thought possible
this open woman in front of you
this wide open woman
in front of you
this woman unseamed and split
you have a responsibility to honor
you must honor her wounds
you must honor her capacity for creation
you must honor her will to destruct
this is a woman's heart unfolding
press only gently into the folds of her petals
and leave there torn sinews from your own self
so that she may be stronger after you leave
than when you first came

Leah Baker is an English teacher at a public high school, and works regularly with her students to develop, refine, and submit their own writing for publishing. She has been featured most recently in Pointed Circle, Edify Fiction, The Raw Art Review, and Voice Catcher. She is a feminist, gardener, yogi, sound healer, and world traveler. You can find more about her at