Their eyes trace my skin
Like fingers on a page.
Their words find my ear
With laughter coarse as sandpaper.
The whistles echo
In the din of the street,
And although I am surrounded
By crowds of people,
I have never felt so helpless and alone.
I hear their mocking tones,
Their crude jokes.
But I try to hold my head high.
I should have nothing to fear,
Yet inside I tremble
Like the last leaf on an autumn branch.
They teach us while we are young
That our bodies are our own fault.
We are to blame
For our curves and our chests.
We are told they are distracting.
Can they say we are the problem
When I have been violated?
Not by hands on my flesh,
Not by rough fingers scraping my skin,
But by words and stares
That although do not physically harm,
Seem to molest my soul.