They know not of the time the doctor pushed his stethoscope into my bra
Because he couldn’t hear my heartbeat
Even though my heart was pounding of rage.
They know not of my childhood hairdresser
Whose hand started to linger a moment too long, his breath in my ear
Whose hips reached far too close to mine when greeting me
Ever since I turned 19.
They know not of the man on the beach
Who reached his hand between my thighs
As if I was his to take from.
They know not of the high school teacher I was scared to be alone with.
They know not of my friend’s father
Inviting me to “hang out” while his daughter was out
Or of his persistence when I said no.
They know not of the unsolicited calls from men in shiny cars
Convinced they could buy me.
They know not of the guy I’ve known all my life and rejected one summer
Who was so angry he wanted to permanently destroy me.
They know not of the pressure I sometimes feel to reward kindness from a strange man
Because we don’t deserve a kind word unless we take our clothes off in return.
They know not of the piercing gazes of strange men
I’m looked at no differently than a meal they’re about to devour.
They know not of why I never let my drink out of sight
It’s a lesson learnt the hard way.
It’s a lesson I’ll never forget
Even though I don’t remember.
They know nothing because I tell them nothing.
I refuse to let them feel like a worn out shield
Like they can no longer protect me.
I carry enough anger in my heart to light up a city.
They don’t deserve it.
Anonymously submitted to ArtParasites