“You’re lucky I didn’t” he says
“You’re lucky I don’t” eyes say
“You’re lucky you are…”
I lost my body today, briefly.
It makes me wonder if I’ve ever possessed it in the first place.
In the space, between my face and toes I know that some see more than limbs and skin arranged clearly for function; functional cells operating to keep me:
hearing, sounds, clipped words, half phrases
—I don’t make you”
make me do something I’ve done before without being told, too many times to count because the amount of energy it takes to protect my dignity is greater than the act; the act is a byproduct of belief, the belief is the enemy of my body, my body is the functional space between my face and toes which someone decides they deserve to know.
Decides to take;
decides is owned;
decides is not mine.
Was it ever mine in the first place?
Has it ever been?
Riddled with questions, the best ones, are those which we have no answers for. I’ve been learning more and more, that time heals wounds but does not stop injuries, only revises them.
Re-write shame into blame, hatred into freedom, loss into disgust, disgust into silence.
I stay silent.
Because how do you outscream a silent look? A thought? An appraisal of the value of a body which is taken from you becomes not yours how do you walk around apologizing for your skin?
How do you outrun your own flesh? Your own vulnerable presence?
You lose it.
You disappear it.
Or you proclaim it louder, you let it dance and glow and shine and you keep it for yourself, regardless of eyes whose prize is the taking of you, from you.
“You’re lucky I don’t make you”
He didn’t, he could have.
They could have, they did.
They did, they will, they do.
And we break and lose and do not possess armor enough to protect us all.
To protect 1 in 5 of us; to protect 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys before they turn 18.
We break and lose and put ourselves together every morning. Walking and wondering if the violence might reach us—today, tomorrow.
when she walks down the street with eyes in the back of her head.
when a friend tells her it’s alright.
when a child doesn’t know what is happening.
When we lose our bodies.
“You’re lucky I didn’t”
But I am burning;
I am screaming inside;
I am seeing what could have been and knowing what is and I cannot sleep because I know just how much worse it is for thousands upon thousands.
When eyes are spies and my clothes become weapons when words grow claws and dig themselves into flesh when the best, one can do is grit one’s teeth and hold yourself a little higher.
And I am.
I am not.
1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men are not, hundreds of thousands are not, have not been, for decades, centuries.
The belief is not abstracted, it is blood and eyelids and tears; the belief is not stagnant, it is pervasive and insidious; the belief is not the cause, it is the effect.
I am not the effect, nor the cause.
I am simply, for today, lucky.
Lucky for an absence of the destruction of your body, rather than the protection of it?
To be told that, again and again, that this is your reality, that you must defend yourself, because this is the world?
So, grit your teeth and bear it?
Grit your teeth and bear it, don’t wear it, hide yourself in an armor of steel and cynicism, believe no one allow no space keep your distance protect yourself protect yourself protect yourself…
because that’s just the way things are.
So, today I am lucky, because it wasn’t broken, because it wasn’t taken?
Today I am lucky because someone else had the “decency” not to take ownership of me?
No. Today, I am lucky, because I know who I am.
Because I know we deserve more.