I thought I was the only one.
A lone, white rose,
covered in blood,
broken and indecent,
your hurried breath and lustful language circling me,
smaller circles every time,
while I shrink down into the grass,
covering my eyes,
covering my ears,
covering my whole body,
because it must have been HER fault.
There are generations of women who feel nervous about their bodies,
afraid of their bodies,
angry with their bodies,
because a man made their body uncomfortable,
pointing with presumptive, entitled fingers,
a schoolboy chant,
that changes how she sees her body.
The skin she walks in is crawling,
because that skin has been sexualised,
and she has a fear,
deep within her skin, and the way it shakes when she replays your relentless harassment,
deep within the way she pulls her skirt down as she walks, in case someone gets the wrong idea,
deep within the way she records her phone calls now, in case people don’t believe a sex pest might be on the line,
deep within the way she presents herself to the police, trying to be the perfect victim, so they won’t think it was her fault.
I haven’t been a white rose for a long time.
Yours is just the latest blood that I wear,
the latest scar,
but I am tired of writing wounded words about how many people felt they were entitled to damage me,
so I will bring you to your knees,
I will drain the colour from your face,
when I show the world your true face,
far away from the safety of your stick on smile,
your carefully concocted sob story,
that helped you curate a garden of roses to ruin.
The roses will rise again,
I promise you that.