This time I am saying NO

When I was little

I asked my mother

What will I be

She said pretty but discreet

 

When I told my mom

I had a boyfriend

She was just relieved

rape was not the story

 

When he held my shoulder

and turned me around

I was just thankful

That he did not hit me

 

When I was little

I asked my mother

What will I be

She said pretty like fairies

But be careful on taxies

If I am ever on one

Call someone,

so they know about my whereabouts

Or pretend to cough like I am sick

So he won’t lay a finger on me

 

When I was in junior high

My mom educated me to dress ugly

Pretty girls get into troubles

She said,

I know that from experience,

Listen to your mother

 

When I walked through the basketball team

In high school

I felt like I had to shrink

Because the way they looked at me

Unanimously

Worried about what they may do to me

 

When I walked alone on the dark lonely streets

I am always afraid,

Of the shadow behind me

Wondering if that shadow belongs to me

Or another man

 

When I am safely home from a party

I need to text my friends

to inform them about my safety

It never occurred to me

That my male friends don’t have to do the same

 

When I am alone with a strange man in the elevator

I worry from the top floor to the lobby

If he would take advantage of me

 

When a boy in elementary school

Wrote a letter to me

Which says “I hope you get raped soon”

I did not say a thing.

 

When my best friend in high school

Pulled his girlfriend’s hair

And forced her to go down on him

I did not say a thing

 

When he caught my arm on the street

And asked if we can be friends

I said no

He asked why

so I said okay

because I’d rather block him silently

Then making a scene

That time

I did not say a thing

 

When a guy at brass monkey groped me

I did not say a thing

When he threw things at me

Just because he was angry at something

I did not say a thing

When I am wearing a mini dress

And he thinks he has the right to touch me

As if I was asking for it

I did not say a thing

 

When this is the third time in this month

That three women were dismembered by different men

For saying no

 

This time

I am not staying silent anymore

 

This time

I am saying no

 

For the three women that died from brutal hands

I say no

To this society that favors man

I say no

To this world that men feel safe walking

alone and women don’t

I say no

 

Women,

We have the right to say no

without being punished.

No more violence

No more rape

No more death and cruel murder case.

 

Men,

when you witness a woman saying no

respect her

 

that is the only thing you need to do

respect a woman

when she says no

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Am I Taking Back Control

Am I taking back control

by doing this

I ponder as I sit

with a bottle of sleeping pills before me

I stare at it

As I ponder if I am taking back control

By doing this

 

According to Buddhism

I chose to be reborn

If that is the truth to be told

I regret it

I regret being born

Growing up in this world

I regret it

I regret choosing to come back

to this

 

I am drained

No energy left

Did I consent to being born

Did I agree to this world

 

I was sent into a cosmic

Which is a bad mistake

Sometimes I think

I am the bad mistake

 

 

What is a mistake

Choosing life or ending it

Taking back control

because I didn’t agree to it

 

I ponder as I sit

with a bottle of sleeping pills before me

 

 

 

 

Heaven

simple logic does not apply here

colorful flowers grow in river

In our hands they disappear

leaves fall down from trees

but flow in air

 

They flicker

In all the ways we perceive

 

There is no time here

I lay under the sun and see

clouds forming into shapes of faces

faces I had known but not here with me

the clouds are moving paintings

telling stories

forever changing

 

I grab the leaves which flow in air

gaze deep into their golden surface

In the reflections I see

those who I love and hold dear

still in different layers in space

they are not here beside me

but one day they will be

 

In the jades that hang on trees

I see all the creatures I had been

my cycle of life that never stopped spinning

until now

for once I am finally free

free of birth and death

free of love and hate

completely liberated

 

in this land

existence is not important

I exist in the breeze

in flowers

in the river

in oceans

I am whatever I want to be

 

in this freedom I see clearly

there is a reason for everything

not necessarily a meaning

in this land there is no sadness

no need to search for meaning in things

for I have come to the end of the beginning

for the kingdom of heaven is within