“You’re quiet.” But when I open my mouth you open yours and talk over me When I start a sentence you cut it halfway with pointless bullshit You invade my space without looking at me I’m just this small blob of woman to you My space is yours, my body is an object, my time a commodity Violence towards women is your birthright It was taught to you at the cradle Invisible, subtle. Gore and cruel. You know a million ways to wield it and crush me How old will I be when I manage to utter a complete sentence? I have always second-guessed Everything I have ever said. Nothing has escaped my lips that hasn’t been thought and considered and weighed. To be heard by your selective ears, My voice needs to be mature and man-shaped Husky and obscure, vaguely misogynistic. You are entitled to my opinion But expressing myself is a fight Every single damn time. I am quiet I have been taught by secular tradition and culture Books and TV and school and the old lady at the bakery And every single one of my boyfriends That women and children should be seen, not heard. Unfortunately, I am both. I am quiet, reflective, at times withdrawn You own the world and you want me to say it is good To mother you, love you, respect you My voice is for you to influence and police It doesn’t matter what I have to say Unless it complements your empire I am quiet I boil inside I have an ocean of words in my head and none of them are yours My brain is a universe you don’t get to explore and colonize I am quiet. I have nothing to offer you. I am quiet. Hear me roar.