My body is trapped in the claws
Of a machine that keeps me alive
It utters sounds that are not my own
Humour is my weapon
The mask to ease pain
The ladies love my poetic spirit
But not my body
They are afraid to touch
In case I shatter like glass
Then I was shown
That sex is not a test
Or something you can understand from books
It is passion
It is freedom
It brings peace
Now I can breathe
I can let go
Pass on with dignity.
This piece was read as part of Origins and Superpowers, a public readings event held by Scope and Melbourne Library Service in December 2015. A group of writers with disabilities who had worked with professional writers in the Telescope Workshops read selections from their work across the genres of fiction, memoir, poetry and non fiction.
Telescope is one of the arts programs run by Community Inclusion staff at Scope and it includes workshops, a writing prize, awards and public readings.
Watch a reading of Joel’s piece here: