For the Women Too Afraid to Cry Out

this poem is for the women

who were too afraid

to speak out

to pull away

out of fear

of being fired

when their bosses

put their hands under their shirts

whispering into their necks

this is for the underage girl

trapped inside the apartment

as the man they grew to trust

blocked the doorway

with his strong shoulders

covered in a $3000 suit

his daughters

just down the hallway

he put the music on

and closed their doors

so no one could hear you yell

I am sorry

I am sorry

I am sorry

on behalf of the men

who are not acting like men at all

who blame animal instinct

for making the animal in me

want to rip you to shreds

5 years later

but I retract my claws

and will rip you apart

with words, instead

it’s more permanent this way

this poem is for the men

who believed it to be okay

to touch the women they had no right

being near

my 115 pound body is no match for your weight

and I can do no damage to you

but for your sake

for her sake

for my sake

god, do I hope you learn

that a woman’s body

is not your territory

just because

you stand

towering

overtop of it.

Annabelle Vincent