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I was 11 when I learnt this body doesn’t belong to me.
The first time I was cat-called saliva dripped from the jaws of men old enough to be my father.
Their eyes undressed the innocence from my hips.
Graffitied lessons into their screams.
I was not too young for them to turn the middle of my legs into a closet filled with manhood’s skeletons.
I learnt that I was a sexual object before I was a child.
We do not play with toys we are the toys.
I was 14 when I learnt that this body doesn’t belong to me.
The first time I wore makeup I didn’t realise this costume was picked for me before I was born.
I picked up my brush like a sword and slit the neck of all the features I hated.
I wore eyeshadow like the shadow of the little girl I used to be banging on the coffin to let her out.
To let her love her face before she was taught it wasn’t good enough.
Mascara cracked like lashes on my back.
Wore lipstick like tape, didn’t say a word.
Played my role as a woman.
I’ve been playing for a long time.
I was 17 when I learnt that this body doesn’t belong to me.
The first time I looked up abortion laws I understood what it was to play a woman.
It is reading what you can and can’t do with your uterus in legislation signed off by a room full of men.
It is having a man as the Minister for Women and wondering why the fuck you’re not being heard.
It is wrapping my hands around my friend when she tells she was assaulted and we both know the law is not on her side.
Passing docility onto our daughter like the role she too will have to play.
I was 18 when I learnt that this body is mine.
When I realised silence is a stage where women are taught to act out their whole lives.
Took off this costume of what it means to be a feminine.
Ripped scripts out of my tongue.
This body is mine.
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