by Traci Neal
This body knows brands where brutality breeds.
A process plans to split my legs like
mayo marinated on a sandwich.
Futile frustrations dress my weary drops
with destruction wallowing from my body
until it has to participate.
Trust turns into becoming a man’s
militant trash, yet somehow tragedy transforms
my tender mixed-up puzzle pieces into poetry.
After my various parts splatter, I invade words
like the male who thought threading my body on
his needle made him a hero and not a villain.
As a woman, I reflect on my poetic heart
sewing verses into souls such as mine
with a desire for answers.
Strength is a string we must agree to
and straighten out our opposition in a knot.
Open a new wardrobe
to thrive in your appearance.
Refuse to reject yourself,
but race toward renewal.
To every woman,
reclaim the body birthing
out of your yoke needing
more than a bandaid.
Reclaim joy and join hands
in the justice to choose.
Reclaim your voice
spoken by an internal
louder than what society
shames you for.
Reclaim your identity.
You are a worthy treasure.