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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There Are No Seats For Me On The MRT       

There are no seats for me on the MRT

Dark blue for the priority seats

But no seats for the blue body that carries me

 

The blue mind

The blue mind that made me consider suicide

 

Yesterday

The blue mind made me consider suicide

Today

I still managed to be alive

Barely living

Struggled but finally got out of the door

Just to go to school

 

I am barely alive

I have died a million times

resurrected just as many

 

Yet

There are no seats for me on the MRT

When I missed my meals three days in a row

When I stayed in bed and it was a world’s distance

From my bed to the door

When I stared at the ceiling in darkness three days in a row

 

Today,

I am still perishing,

But I got out of the door

and tried my best to go to school

But the dark blue priority seats

are not for the dark blue mind

is my mental health not a priority?

Is my existence not a priority?

 

The lady next to me asked if I was sick,

Because I sat on the dark blue seat with my dark blue mind

I replied “yes”

She said,

“doesn’t seem like it.

You look young and healthy”

 

Invisible,

My dark blue is invisible

My scars are invisible

 

I fight with my Illness every day

And every moment

 

Yet when I am feeling my worst

When I barely have the strength to live

When I am broken into a thousand pieces

When I am just trying to go to school

There are no seats for me on the MRT