"You're Lucky"

“You’re lucky you’re ugly and fat

Riding the train alone at night like that.”

You said with a smack

Of your lips

A dirty smile

Revealing dirtier teeth

Yet it was I

That was left

Feeling dirtiest of all

I felt small

Even though my youth

Did not quite understand

Your command

It still made me clutch my keys

In between my fingers

Like they showed me on TV

Hoping you

Couldn’t see

The fear

In me

Alone with you

In the dim hue

Of the metro

I bet no one

Would have stepped in

Anyway

The way strangers prefer

To look away


“You’re lucky you’re a woman

Or I’d strangle you”

That blue vein in your forehead

Pulsed when you said it

You were upset

That I let someone merge into traffic

Manic

You panicked

Then the light turned red

The shade of your face

Was the same

When you came

Storming toward me

In the middle of the

Intersection

I clutched my pepper spray

Locked my doors

Right away

Just in time

To find you

Pounding on my window

A window

Into your feelings

Toward women

And men

Would you really have hit me then

If I was a him?


“You’re lucky you’re skinny, you can afford to be picky.”

You said with a smirk as if it should hurt me

Women I thought of as allies

Reacting with side eye

While acting

Like being single in your 30’s

Is something to bury

As if we as women

Have to get married

Especially if

We’re especially beautiful

Or especially thin

Listen

I’m honored

You think

That I

Have it made

It’s not like that

I’m self-made

And when I lost weight

It wasn’t so I could find a mate

Yeah I lost the weight

Yet found new ways

To hate

My body

And a journey

Of self-love

Leaves little room

For distractions

And you couldn't pay me

Or make me

Equate those things

To what success in society

Looks like

I might

Want a partner

I might

Want a daughter

But for now

I’ll settle

For living in the present

A present I gift

To my past

Present

And future


And I think I’m lucky

That I don’t believe in luck

I believe

Enough

Is enough

We’re stuck

In a rut

Of gender conformities

That become

Social normalities

What’s really disturbing

Is that we are learning

To divide

Instead of conquering our fears

Through the years

Tears staining the faces of those

Who would make others heroes

For changing their world for good

Good intentions are nothing

It’s action

That makes things happen

And it’s then

That we see

We can choose to be free

From phobias built

On ignorance and bias

Let’s try it

Learning from each other

Instead of turning on each other

Believing we can

Rise to the occasion

Rather than give a reason

To believe that we

The people

Aren’t better than this

History has witnessed how

We dismiss our mistakes

We can do better than this

Let’s be better than this

We are better than this.



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