Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Protest Series - Lauren Coe

“do not tell me to smile”

Lauren Coe

locker room talk.
boys will be boys.
but it was just a joke.
you’re so pretty when you smile.

his words are far away but i can feel them inside
coursing through my inner organs 
my throat my chest my veins my heart.
you’re so pretty when you smile. 

his words are the finger that punctures me
the organ that penetrates my quietest moments
the blade that scrapes the wound
you’re so pretty when you smile. 

but i am not surprised by his words. 
they are deeply held beliefs 
they are the religion that feeds our society.
and from his pulpit he will continue to preach

but unlike the first time, the second time,
the third time, the last time
he will not speak over me. 
i will not abide by the predatory sermon.

i will play the nastiest hand with my deck of woman cards because
my body is not ratable and my choices are not punishable
and my pussy is not up for grabs
so don’t tell me to smile. 

don’t tell me to smile because
this time i’m fighting back. 

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