Sunday, May 8, 2016


As the weather gets warmer, the street harassment gets worse. Six men today made comments about my body; a seventh suggested that I smile. I pulled off my heels so I could run home faster. 
"Let's see what's under that dress, babe."
The traffic light turns from green to amber to red. Stop. Stop in your tracks; don't come closer to me. What is under this dress is half a lifetime of fear, of muscles that tense and skin that sweats in terror when you ask to undress me on the sidewalk. What is under this dress is rage that boils through my gut, bile going up my throat as my body prepares to fight because I know I cannot run. What is under this dress is a constellation of scars, so faint only I can see them. No, no, no, no, etched everywhere unwanted hands have touched. Under this dress is a hope that the words on the street won't peel off layer after layer of skin, until my skeleton is picked bare by men who want to see whether my bones themselves will bleed when they command my pelvis, my breasts, my spine that protests, to smile.