How Barcodes Taste

For years

I’ve found peace

In the art of mitigation

In the soulful practice

Of stuffing handkerchiefs in my mouth

Cotton balls in my ears

And tampons in my vagina.

 

I have cushioned my ambitions

On pillows of patriarchy

And acted

Like I didn’t scream

I didn’t hear

And I definitely didn’t bleed.

 

My neckline

Is swathed in my sweat

And your saliva:

Their layers

More numerous

With increasing depth.

 

There are barbed wires

On our boundary walls

Like crochet borders on blankets.

And cupped in padded cases

There are yet more wires

Stapled under my breasts.

 

How better can you cage me?

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