Joan of Arc

a civil war of short skirts and combat boots

stomp through this body like a battlefield

the mirror reflects the slip of curves and gendered expectations

there are days when the proud line of cleavage

is a well-honed blade of fierce femininity

her curves are a study in aerodynamics; a dragon is born to fly

the rouge of her lips and fire of her words

ready to lay waste to the fortress built to keep her contained

on the mornings when her chest is its own invasion

her armor is velcroed chainmail hidden beneath a henley

the curved parapets of her hips are chiseled into blades

the juncture of thighs a moat to be crossed

sometimes combat boots are enough to stave of enemy advances

then there are days when her body becomes the enemy

so she clothes herself in iron, cries havoc in the shorn of hair

a saint whose face in a reflection of war-torn fields

and the constant lurch between dragon and knight


Published by Ren Martinez

Ren is a thirty-something Lost Boy whose personal aesthetic is “suspected of witchcraft by local villagers.” She subscribes to cheerful nihilism, the destruction of the patriarchy, and the belief that glitter makes everything better. She is a Richmond-based writer and performer who has fiction and non-fiction work found in a variety of publications, such as The Mary Sue, RVA Magazine, The Quotable, and Nostrovia Press. She is currently the fiction editor and a regular contributor at Quail Bell Magazine. She is also the co-host of the podcast, This F***ing Guy! Find out more at or read her dumbass tweets on Twitter @itsrenmartinez

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