I AM – a poem

I am my umbilical cord

My mother’s sleepless nights

My father’s long drives

I am the scent in my mother’s wardrobe

The high heels I never fit

I am the ingrained institutionalized religion

Founded on fear.

I am the shame and the guilt

The vagina

I am the black eyeliner I draw around my eyes

The chopped hair and grunge outfits

Of every 13 year old


I am my harasser’s hand

mouth, skin

I am the no stuck … still lingering in my throat

The no I screamed

It will forever echo

The no all the women screamed

I am them

I am their silenced no


I am my first fuck

His cologne and cigarettes

The same cologne I later found in my father’s bathroom

I am the literature I read

The writer’s writing that I imitate

The subject of their male gaze

I am their muse.

I am their blood on paper

I am the blood of a broken hymen

I am the blood splattered in Syria, Palestine and Iraq to name but a few

Splattered like the glass of red wine I once spilt

I am the stain


I am the silenced voices of my grandmothers

I am my mother’s divorce

I am my past lover who spoke in my tongue

I am my lover whose tongue can’t dance with mine

I am the traditions I broke

Will continue to break

The taboos I embrace and the  sins that give me pleasure

I am my rebellion

My sexuality,

My seduction


I am the women

Silenced, beaten, raped,

Biting, scratching, fighting back

I am everyone.

I am no one.

I am my liberation.

I am the bray of my beating heart:

I am, I am, I am