six women

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when i sat down to write this poem
i first wrote that six bodies 
were shot down dead
but then I realized that that
is not the truth.
six bodies were not shot,
six people were.

six people
who had
friends and families
and maybe they had
boyfriends or girlfriends
or cats or dogs

and maybe they would have thought
that they deserved it
for not fucking him.

people say that he was
disturbed
a psychopath
crazy
not thinking straight
and maybe that's true
maybe it wasn't his "fault"
maybe he was white
and conventionally attractive
so therefore 
he could not be cruel.

but what about the men
who go on social media
or home to their girlfriends
and wives
and their daughters
and shout 
NOT ALL MEN
and expect that to excuse
the fact that there are
six girls lying in cement
covered in blood?

what about the men
who think that those six women
were just bodies
to be used and 
disposed of 
by a shotgun
and who would say the same
to me, if i were to tell them
no.

what about my daughter?
what am i supposed to tell her
when a man shoots her friend
because he doesn't understand
that she can say no 
and mean it
and that that does not 
require a punishment.

what do I say when my daughter
starts to believe
that if she says no
she will be shot by an Elliot Rodgers
or when she starts to believe
that her body
is nothing
that her “no”
is not only dangerous
but worthless. 

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