I confront the voice who, uninvited
made me hot with shame
for claiming my power.
A million tiny messages
that told me that being a good woman
meant silencing myself
that I ought to be all too happy to martyr myself.
“Who do you think you are to take up space?”
the voice said to me
daring me to claim something
just so it could show me my greediness.
A million tiny messages.
Appease. Accommodate. Adapt.
“Don’t think too highly of yourself.
I prefer you wounded.
You are more beautiful
if you’re broken.
if you’re damaged.”
I tell it to watch
as I stand
as I drape my red cape over my shoulders
as I place my jeweled crown on my head.
As I turn to my sisters to adorn them too.
We link hands
our eyes shine red
we breathe fire and destroy.
we rage and scream
to fill the silence
of a thousand years of unspoken needs.
And when our voices are hoarse
and the trees are just ashes
Our words matter
And our eyes see
And our skin sheds
And our hearts beat
And our bellies ache
And we weren’t meant to be invisible.
And if I claim my greatness
I do not claim it at your expense.
And if I see my beauty
I promise I see yours too.
And if I burn brightly
I wish for you to burn beside me.
And if I proclaim that I’m enough
I ask you to sing it with me.
And if I dare to speak my truth
I assure you, I long to witness yours.
So I will not ask forgiveness
for the boldness of my desires.
I will not cower at the task of rebuilding our world.
For you me we must remember
that we belong
to each other.