“When women were birds, we knew otherwise. We knew our greatest freedom was in taking flight at night, when we could steal the heavenly darkness for ourselves, navigating through the intelligence of stars and the constellations of our own making in the delight and terror of our uncertainty.” – Terry Tempest Williams


i roared for the first time when

i was ready and i was never told by other women

to adjust my volume or tone, brazen though they were

i felt as though i was singing operettas with the birds

roar we

would / will / did for we knew

that it was death otherwise

survival depended on the we

the us the tribe we knew

the joy bravery fire of our

soul was knowing the greatest

winged freedom

was letting go of what was

and taking in

what was new taking

on the fight earning the flight

after being stared at

groped in the night

stolen from ourselves when

forced into a yes position we

screamed no as loud as we could

don’t you steal

me from me the

heartbeat in our ears heavenly

proof that we were alive in the darkness

being told to smile for

you not for ourselves

the maps torn from us while navigating

the stormy seas through

fog saltwater grief the

lighthouse of our intelligence

was lit by the fires of

those stars

who came before us and

commanded that we roar the

battle cry of our hearts to the constellations

touching our fingertips to the dust of

stars that burned out long before our

lives bloomed forth our own

phoenix sparking from ashes free making

filth dirt soot rise in

the throats of the

patriarchy to our delight

our womanly delight and

never again to kneel under the weight of terror

that is born of

ignorance fear silence our

voices will not be choked by uncertainty


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