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Nov 2017
“Nice ***.”
It might be obscene to begin a poem
with *****
the way strangers in the sidewalk
begin conversations with Anatomy
or Algebra when they ask
for an exchange of numbers
like old friends meeting at the subway
on a hot Sunday afternoon.
Quit Science
when the only thing you know
is to scrutinize a woman’s body,
identifying which parts would satisfy
your carnal desires.

When I was nine
and the curves in my body
were not yet defined,
when “***” was just a word
I read on forms we used to fill to know
if one is male or female,
I happened to pass by a group of boys
who laughed at the top of their lungs
over a bottle of *****
after one of them remarked something
about my “flower”
when I wasn’t even holding one.

I did not fully understand what they meant
but then and there I felt fear,
then and there I learned
that a flower’s not a flower in the context of
how they grinned as they
masked their grim faces
with laughters and remarks
like predators lurking in the shadows
of their sisters, wives, and daughters.

Looking back
and thinking how I was violated
the first time when I was nine
and my curves were not yet defined,
I laughed because twelve years later here I am,
still replaying inside my head
the voices of men who acted
as if they own my body,
who decided to steal from me
what is only mine to give
as they wait for another prey
to caress their whiskers in the sidewalk.
A poem about catcalling.
Maine Dela Cruz
Written by
Maine Dela Cruz  21/F/General Santos City
(21/F/General Santos City)   
     Johnny Noiπ
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