Your yells hurt like the scab on my ankle that

Was scraped off when I stumbled and kicked

Myself from your startle.



Your honks make me jump.

Your gaze makes me feel like the slut

I once thought I was.


Your stares burn mistrusted

Masculinity in my tenderness.


I know I’m more deserving,

But your way of being makes me feel so small.


You hold the door open for me,

You brake to let me cross the street,

Not of good manners,   

But because you want another look.

To see what I look like from the back.


I am public art but not here for your gaze.


When I smile at another woman, I am secretly

Telling them them, “be strong sister, walk with beauty,

Protect your all, with your all.”


Now blood drips down my ankles and

I am scared to walk alone.

Scared to walk the night

Or bare my shoulders.

Scared to let my tree trunks breathe.

Or let my scars see the sun.  


I have a pit in my belly knowing

That you are stealing from me.

It feels like car crashes in my brain,

Discomfort like scrapes on sunburnt skin.


Dont insult me.

Its not friendship you seek.
Its permission to rape me.


Melissa DeLynn