Forced Entry

He broke into me
stole something
a brazen thief
never charged with forced entry
because "Please don't" didn't lead
to blue black marks on the lock
and no one sees the bruise prints
the scratch marks on my spirit
these don't make police reports
the dignity missing from my step
doesn't qualify as physical evidence
I shake when I see him
only my homegirls seem to notice
their golden light, protective around me
his boys' mantra is "lying bitch"
they mutter it with sharp machete eyes,
occassionally someone rouses himself to say it-
"Lying bitch"
the words weigh down the wings of airborn birds
and for the first time
I see these men not as men
but as terrorists in training
camaflouged bombers on
the ground floor of truth
taking dynamite to it's foundation.
I see myself as a prisoner of war
an exile
a survivor
I wish this wasn't my story
but it is
a million times over
and just when I think it has gone away
it reappears at my doorstep
in another womans face
or on the ten o'clock news
and although I have loved men since
maybe another sister can't
so this is our story
and it will be ours
until we don't have to claim it anymore
until women from Brooklyn to Oakland to South Africa
can sit back in amazement and say
"I can't believe such things ever occured,"
until the word "rape"
can be wiped out from vocabularies
removed from the dictionary
stamped out of our memories
until then, this will be our story
and wounded eyes will tell it
even when we don't

From Karma's Footsteps (Flipped Eye, 2011). Copyright © 2011 by Mariahadessa Ekerete Tallie. Used with the permission of the author.