15 February 2013

One Billion Rising


Written in Kerala  for the women of India who lead the way
This could have been anywhere
And was
Mexico city
Nighttime men
Like wolves
For prey
That single dimly painted door
Paying nothing
A couple of dollars
Or euros
Or pesos
To have her
Enter her
Eat her
Devour her
And throw away her bones.
This could have been anywhere
And was
A Buddhist nun on a bus
Trying to stay dry for the night
A woman leader speaking out against
The repressive government
A young woman traveling with her boyfriend
One lost her voice
The other her following
The last one her life
This could have been anywhere and was
Pink wooden crosses
A stack of stones
Red wilting carnations
Empty chairs in a square
Ribbons flying in a sultry wind
I ask Anny Nighat Kamla Monique Tanisha Emily
Why why
Porque Eran Mujeres
Parce qu’elles etalent des femmes
Because they were women
Because they were women
This could have been anywhere
And was
Where she got fired for being too beautiful
Fined for drinking after she was raped
A serious offer to marry her rapist
Got told it was legitimate but not forcible
This could have been anywhere
They do such a thing
When the girls go for firewood
Step into the lonely man’s car
Drink a little too much at the college party
Wake up with her uncle’s fingers inside
Run from the screaming machete and guns
Be taken at sunrise
Get a bullet in the brain for learning the alphabet
Be stoned for falling in love
Be burned for seeing the future
I am done
Cataloguing these horrors
Data porn
2 million women raped and tortured
1 out of 3 women
a woman raped every minute
every second
one out of 2
one out of 5
the same
I am done counting
And recounting
It’s time to tell a new story
It needs to be our story
It needs to be outrageous and unexpected
It needs to lose control in the middle
It needs to be sexy and in our hips
And our feet
It needs to be angry and a little scary the way storms can be scary
It needs to not ask permission
Or get permits or set up offices
Or make salaries
It won’t be recorded or bought or sold
Or counted
It needs to just happen
It is not a question of inventing
But remembering
Buried under the leaves of trauma and sorrow
Beneath the river of
Semen and squalor
Vaginas and labias
Shredded and extracted
Body mines
Mined bodies
It is not about asking now
Or waiting
It is about rising
Raise your arm my sister my brother
Raise your one
Your one heart
You’re one of us
I used to be afraid of love
It hurt too much
What never happened
What got ripped away
The rape
The wound
And love
I thought
Was salt
But I was wrong
I was wrong
Step into the fire
Raise your arm
Raise your one

*This poem was written by someone with this group while women all over the world yesterday celebrated each other and vocally fought against injustice toward women across the globe through dance. 

*This photograph is of my friend and I. Female travelers who desire to journey through a safer world. 

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