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Kevin Powell

NO!

for Aishah Shahidah Simmons*

by Kevin Powell

Will us boys ever learn that power
can't be pulled from the meat of our third leg
like the last taste of malt liquor sucked from the
bottom of a bottle? Will we ever cease to find
our torsos slow-dragging with death, our dance
a series of grenades aimed at the bellies of our
mothers' daughters? Will us boys ever break ranks
with the devil, his bible telling us it is mad cool
to rape women because the master does it, and
don't we, too, yearn to be masters? Will we ever
be able to glue back the hair, unswell the eye,
dab away the blood, and stitch up the holes of the women
we have knifed, repeatedly, with our hatred and
fear? Will us boys ever be able to admit that
some of us have become predators, our prey the
neighbor, the girlfriend, the wife, the sister,
the niece, the granddaughter whose life is an
unguarded prison cell loaded with screams,
paranoia, and a body unsure why it now eats itself?


* Aishah Shahidah Simmons is a rape survivor and the writer, director, and producer of NO! a documentary about rape and sexual assault.


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