Mona Lisa, mona linda, O emblem of western beauty! A hundred greedy eyes rest on you, Drinking you in.
Crowds and crowds gather To feast on your unsmiling face, Your stiff posture, your Lifeless gaze.
Within the golden frame you are Frozen in time And unable to escape those relentless gawks.
Life imprisonment With an audience of 2 million.
Adoring fans, passers-by Cry out in praise! “Beauty, beauty, beauty!”
Do they know what they see? Bland Western beauty standards served up on a plate.
Fresh from Ireland and ready to eat. Dreams of wealth and success Wrapped up in pale white skin And short blonde hair.
"mona linda" is Spanish for "pretty blonde". I recently moved to Colombia and am pursued by these shouts, accompanied by stares wherever I go. Another product manufactured for male gaze. These shouts are my punishment for having the audacity to be alive and walk down the street.
I Send my words hurling into your airway like swords I bite off your tongue with every sharp response my body conjures I have every witty comeback on speed dial to drill into your spine The way your **** drilled into mine Pull old pennies from my pockets and throw them into your eyes So you may not look at me the way you have for so long You're are barely worth my pennies anyways Here's a donation to your sorry *** How about I grasp your neck, at just the right spot, just hard enough, to crush your voice box To dwindle your air pipe just a little So you cannot throw those trash comments at anyone else How about I ***** each of your fingers Push them deep into your pockets So that you can't feel anything without remembering me You look at me like a mannequin in the window of your favorite retail store You try yo put a price on what I'm worth Maybe you can try me on Throw me on the floor Grab another How about I tattoo my name on your chest So that you cannot take off another piece of clothing Take off another girl Throw them in the floor And not remember me You will never throw me in the floor again For I am permanently burned into your chest How about I burn off each hair on your body One at a time let it Sizzle down and sear the skin Let each tiny poor feel the pain one at a time over and over and over again Until you are left, raw
This Is the day I speak back when you cat call me from across the street
I think sometimes my nose is pulled so high into the air that I am a skyscraper that my ears hear only Birds that my skin feels only wind but my ears that is not what they hear
they hear “hey baby” “****... girl...” “What u doin all alone”
my skin- feels their hands feels their selfish - dominance their greed, for my, body
so my nose, goes higher up. while my heart, sinks further down I cannot ignore their words, or rather, I should not ignore their words for my own protection because that makes me feisty makes me unattractive makes me stingy to withhold myself from their, greedy, hands so I must respond or at least acknowledge be confident be ignorant pretend you didn't know it was anything more than a compliment flash them a smile continue walking
and Oh... don't forget to say thank you.
this isn't to say everyone on the streets makes me feel this way, or that there aren't kind/appropriate ways to deliver genuine compliments. It's just to express what I just began to understand about myself to be my second nature.
Maybe that's why I prefer dogs; animals probably have more culture than you.
the way you take quick glances at my trembling self by the roadside, with ear-piercing whistling— does that excite you as much as it scares me?
you made me look at my long-sleeved dress and ankle-hidden boots; yet I question, are my outfits deemed ****** till it entices your manhood?
I grip my bags firmly and wallow in self-grief for temporary relief, as I fear more than just compliments threw by preys on the streets.
should you disagree, of my brother, whistling and signalling your blood-sister,
should you disagree, of my father, oversexualising your mother, then don't be a disgrace to the ladies watching.
It was a sunny afternoon, and I was wearing a formal knee-length skirt and a loose, long-sleeved blouse. And then there's the cat-calling. I can't believe I'm drenching myself in sweat to avoid this— and it still happened.
The first time he kissed me, my friends assured me that I was just another body I dutifully disagreed- "I am special" The second time he kissed me, I learned pretty fast that my friends were right I need not be I am not special I am just A woman
When a stranger wrapped his scarf around my chest, His foreign accent fondling me with the words explaining that he would be jealous to see other men looking at me I smiled politely and waited to be dug out by my friends nearby because I am not special I am just The body of a woman
Hearing a whistle blown towards my general direction I bow my head, ignore all of the "hey baby"sand "que linda"s Shrinking into myself I hope to disappear from the street because I am not special I am just The body of a woman
Walking the city alone, I make sure to act as if nobody is there hoping with futility That maybe if they can not be seen then I will not be seen either Although I do not need to try so hard to become invisible because I am not special I am just The body of a woman
Waiting to hear from you and allowing myself to be passive with our fate I rehearse that I am just another kiss, another body for you to call home because I am not special I am just The body of woman
These days I do not measure my worth in pounds on the scale because That number is far too large- far too significant Instead I look to the tags inside my pants because they represent how much space I do not take up
Exploring the streets I am constantly checking how many shadows are following behind me What turns they're taking and how far behind they are My escape routes are already planned for the inevitable because no matter how significant I truly am, that is always compensated for through the insignificance of my body no- Our bodies, women We are miraculous, glory filled temples It is not our fault that no matter how much fabric we try to hide behind we are always ****** beings that Our accomplishments are that much more revered because we had to overcome our womanhood first that Woman is a necessary adjective to frame titles or context because Without it one will assume a man is being spoken of Each day is a cause for celebration because each sunset marks another day of survival but the morning sunrise alerts us for another day at war