I speak with my clenched fists aimed precisely
at your nose
because it is the only way to ensure pre-emptive
protection from potential blows;
in the blurred lines between fear and respect, I lose
my ability to express this thing called love,
I am told that power is won and nothing
is worth earning if it is easily taken or lost.
I refute with my fingers entwined
in my predator’s hair
because forcing the antagonist into submission is the only way
to mask my shame;
in the whirling fury of rabid eyes and gnashing teeth, I forget
my need for acceptance or affirmation,
I am told that building “street cred” is more valuable than
an “education” in the life chosen for me.
I cry out with the flaunting of my curves and
the flirting of my dance
because the catcalls, whistles, and lewd comments communicate
that people are looking at me;
in my coy glance I hide the tears that
spring up from the well of my brokenness,
I am told that no one will care enough to desire a closer look.
I scream to be heard over the aching drone of
everyone else’s complaints
because your sorrows are not tied to mine and
I am alone in this plight;
in the clear echoes that resonate from
the overtones of my piercing wail, I wish someone would teach me
how we are all connected and tell me I can choose to belong -
I am told I am a leader only of the miscreants and the degenerate weak lot.
I spit biting words like knives or heat seeking missiles
locked onto your deepest insecurities
because making a scene means personal attention when
I haven’t yet learned to share;
in the confusing height of intervention, I silently hope I didn’t
share my dark secrets with you when we were friends last week,
I am told that “words can never hurt me” but I wonder
if “frustration” at your cruel remarks is a part of that paradigm.
I speak with my fists.
Why is no one listening?