Yes, I am a woman We're forced to say it like a curse Because the moment we are discovered Evil eyes of all sorts gaze upon us, questioning and curious
Is she beautiful? Is her skin like porcelain? Her hair, is it soft like silk? Do her eyes shine like the stars? And her virtue above all else, is she pure?
Men compare us to treasure as if it's a compliment Saying our eyes are like sapphires and emeralds To them we are silk and gold Nothing more than measurements of their wealth It's as if they think we won't find out it's just another way to measure our worth, As if they think we can't understand that it isn't a compliment, it's a currency
They don't see my warrior gaze My impenetrable skin, thick with valor They look at my hands and see a delicate doll They don't see the way these delicate hands wrap around my bow How my eyes are sharp and steady No, they only see the innocent sparkle
They aren't looking for my capabilities They seek value in my appearance alone They are putting prices on me, Comparing me to the latest trends For what is my courage worth when I have such a beautiful face?
Yes, I am a woman But I am a warrior first See my battle scars, see my victories See my strength and bravery My honor, see it an recognize me
I am the protector of women Not because they can't defend themselves But because they shouldn't have to I am the one who shows the truth Who guides the moonlight into their veins The one who takes away those sparkling lies For before my eyes, no woman will bend to the whims of man
Most of the time, I don’t think of you Maybe it’s because of your age Maybe it’s because we’re safer now Or maybe it’s because I live in always-sunny California But when that sky does darken And the rain comes down I’ll hear you Like some primordial call, dug up from the Earth or my bones Sometimes-I’ll even see you, but just for a moment By now, I’ve forgotten what your face looks like But I can’t ever unlearn that power Its no wonder you used to be the king of gods
There’s no better time than now to celebrate Even when it feels like the world is ending, rejoice Rejoice for life, rejoice for living, never forget That we will always be able to fill our cups Our sorrows will always be replaced by happiness We will always be here after the storm
I am twenty-one years old and I have saved two lives— a girl whose throat closed despite her and a boy who thought he had no other choice. By all accounts, I am a heroine, a savior, some divine-palmed human spread thin among peers who are the same. The same— who fear the dark as fully as I and need the quiet, sometimes, when the din of all the mouths talking at once becomes more heavy than loud. Be gentle, love, approach me slowly— do not touch my shoulder when my eyes turn to glass and know that I hate to be hugged because your arms will trap my fear somewhere within me. I suppose there’s a reason no one writes what happened to Odysseus and how the gods felt after their story ended.
Deeply thrown to the maw of the earth A gaze could own there all it’s worth Never have extremes before been too depthless And Transformed. Light and darkness swallow one As positivism is garbled and undone Such a void of the ******, the saved For neither have such slopes they braved Or bedlam tamed. Blesséd teeth of the darker cave Lend me my voice, though starker, back And echoed song sung, Though lost in its ribs Its to have in that chorus, black: Harpish wings trickling bells and Harmonious little sightless things Loosed from dear Apollo’s light Darkness scares Phoebus’ chariots On which the fire-stallions ride. In their flaming stead and ruthless might, My frightful heels turned and taken flight.
Gentle winds in the rustling leaves Remind me of your skirt behind the silent glass I can’t help but chuckle helplessly The memory exploits this welcomed fault Though my mouth would never speak it. Injurious pasts have ossified the skin Sentinel stone is what remains, sojourned to Ascalon Misery in the granite *****, stoic in emotion I drew this targe so flighty, back turned to the alter To find my steps at the Temple Aphrodite. I would protect those who love, those who hate For I stood, the interstice, n’er affy to one Neither credence on this sealed tongue. Priests of joy, your vines they spent In time they found those cracks so well Bloom in lush across the hardness Of generations’ sediment The heat and stirring from below Pushed to the sun and carved in my aspect Nurtured by those sweet waters of your stride The language imbued from the portrait of your mind Infused with my coldness found within And crack and crumble as they light falls low Such debris may let love in.