There is choice. We can die
from the shame of what is done
to us. We can wear the names
like letters branded into our skin
and quietly disappear,
become the nothings
they say we are, banished and vanished,
or we can wear our own words.
We can show them
women are not sheep.
Girls are not fruit.
There is no shearing of hair
or reaping a harvest from us.
We learn through breath
the difference between being a victim
and becoming a survivor
is subtle, delicate
before it grows strength:
That shift across the line
of being versus agency
is a thing danced, not learned;
sidestepping guilt and spinning it
back where it belongs
with something simple as a lifted head,
a turn around to shout back
at what is muttered under breath,
or the woman who did not stand in shame, wordless,
but blocked a door shouting for police,
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