How do I make them understand why when to me, an umbrella serves as two things?
When a shift of a skirt is a chink my armor, When no matter how many layers I put, a sword always finds a way to gut itself right through it?
How do I tell them how it feels when locking eyes with the world is an invitation for it to swing the first attack,
When every movement my body makes is treated like a dance to attract, To seduce, To charm?
How do I show them what it’s like when just hearing the words “little girl” in itself readies my fists to fight and my feet to flee on instinct?
As if I’m trained.
As if I don’t have any other choice.
Little girl, they say, why do you always walk like you're marching into battle? Stretch that pretty mouth up, they say, stop baring your teeth.
And I say, I’ll stop baring my teeth at the world when the world stops looking at me like I'm prey to be fucking devoured.