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We Women

Artwork by Jenna Tse, staff artist

By Enya Goonetilleke

We women.

We swallow pain like sugar pills,

We feel so others do not have to.

Tears fall as natural as raindrops,

Branches grow between our shoulder blades

In the places life’s sharp cruelties

Once drew blood.

We women.

We are fashioned from pearl and soil.

But we bleed ichor. Our hearts

Beat with the rhythm

Of Earth’s metallic core.

We women.

Our laughter shines like bronze.

Our hands forever give.

We are delicate,

Our footsteps are made of silk, and our smiles

Bring men to their knees.

But we women,

We are as savage as a blizzard.

We sweat gunpowder.

Our screams pierce like metal.

Our vicious words could topple an army.

And we run faster than time.

We emerge from the deepest mines of human agony

And the most seductive oceans of pleasure,

And we dare to ask for more.

We women.

If one of us is cut, we all bleed.

We wear a million scars -

leftover from those who either worshipped

or debased us -

Under our skin,

Behind our eyes,

And within the chasm between our breasts.

We women.

Our sorrows are deep,

But our love,

Which grows out of our lips

In tangled, emerald vines,

Is deeper.

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