I was told “Pretty

sounds silent

so sit still,

just behave.”

I objected,

I shouted,

I got in the way.

They tried

to scrape my words

into the stove alongside

other ugly things

meant to burn and capsize:

broken branches

from a tree once grown

an old newspaper

from truths once told

coal and char

from a fire gone out

ash and kindling

splintered about.

My eyes filled with flame

as I watched fire ignite

I shook

and I shrieked

and I danced

through the night.

Because my beauty is power,

my strength is my brand–

I won’t be quiet

or still

or sit on my hands.

I will vibrate and scream

sing songs to the sky

my cells are infused

with volume and pride.

If pretty is silent

then I refuse to be

that version of pretty

they’ve defined for me.

So try and burn fires

to set flame to what’s wild

we’ll keep dancing

and shrieking

emboldened

empowered.


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