TW: Gender-based Violence
I am a Woman.
I keep my keys clenched between my fingers;
I walk on bolts of lightning,
when white vans drive by,
and every lingering look from strange men on the street
is the equivalent of a previously bloodied dagger,
twisting into my mangled stomach
and into the stomach of every Woman who
has come before me,
will live after me,
and now exists with me.
and as a Woman,
I wake up each day,
knowing that there are those
who would rather
chain me down, gag my voice, bind my hands,
than give me the right to choose.
and though I try to explain this ceaseless nightmare
to those who cannot understand,
I find rose-scented thorns wrapped tight around my neck and
I find myself stuck in an hourglass-waist cage.
and what they’ll never teach you about Womanhood is that:
it is not defined by biology,
that Women are babbling brooks and fine morning mist,
that Women are crashing waterfalls and roaring torrents,
that magic flows from our fingertips,
that we breathe life or destruction, if we choose to,
that Women get to define our own Womanhood.
Cover photo source: https://www.etsy.com/listing/826902687/diverse-women-portrait-different-skin