When you took my No from me, I forgot for a second which parts of my promised lands were my own, and which were a common playing ground.
My feet didn’t recognize themselves walking home down the street. My heart forgot it’s familiar pattern as I looked to fill in the pieces you stole between the sheets, with all the boys who I would never truly allow myself to love, because I saw your ghost hiding somewhere behind their eyes.
When you took that one syllable, two letter word off the tip of my tongue and used it as an offering to reap what was not yours; I forgot who I was.
As the sun shined in through the bathroom window this morning, I stood naked, looking into a full length mirror at five feet of soft curves and freckles and scars and dreams; and saw for the first time, a complete picture.
This is me letting you go.
This is me taking back what is mine.
My body is not a burial ground for your fears and demons.
Your rape didn’t shatter the thousand and one pieces that make me whole, it sewed them closer together.
I am Eve. I am Woman. I am a swirl of obscene curiosity and emotions.
This body can fight wars that you cannot imagine, and make love in ways that can leave you speechless. This mouth is more than an appendage to be opened when I’m down on my knees; it has no boundaries and spins verses together that can speak to the soul. My mind is an amusement park built on imagination and dreams, the foundation my perseverance.
I am a gentle body and a sharp mind. A demure voice with a cutting tongue. I fall in and out of love a thousand times everyday, I hurt and I find ecstasy, and all of this I want to feel with every inch of my being.
My words are back on the tip of my tongue where they belong, all the pieces settling in. My hands traveling over soft skin, my fingers finding joy in the places you once left your ghosts.
You have not won the battle. These are not broken goods, they are a masterpiece.
My No may have met your deaf ears, but that makes my words no more silent.
Author: Chrissy Owens
Apprentice Editor: Staci Lerch-Moist / Editor: Renée Picard