I am woman.
Painted lips and painted eyes
but underneath my black Abay
is where I hide my fists.
Hidden hips and hidden thighs
but somehow I always apologize.
Somehow sorry is always on my lips.

I am done
making myself small
for you.
cause some days I wake up and I feel bursting at the seams,
I feel like fingertips and gums are leaking blood and dreams
I am lava, I’m a flame,
and then you put me out.

I am gold and I am glitter.
I am copper, I am silver.
I am hot metal, bloom of red.
I am not just some chick you force to bed.
I am not nothing until I’m wed.

I am woman.
Words loll around my skull and tongue,
breath somehow enters, leaves my lungs -
a galaxy of bruises on my wrists.
And constellations don’t look half the same
when they’re on skin instead of sky.
Put down your weapons, put down your masculine,
put up white flags, pick up your feminine.

This isn’t mental illness.
This is about putting value on innocence.
This is about blaming victims and how they dress.
This is about equivalence.

Listen to me. This is not an apology.
This is ocean deep, this is thirty
This is rage at being “just a She”.
This is rearranging my anatomy.
This is my confession
that I’m bigger than my body.

I am pure woman-ness.
I am chaotic, I’m a mess.
I am breath-y happiness.
and I am not your princess.

I am done plucking petals and asking them of my fate.
Hoping one or the other has him decide between love and hate.
He loves me, he loves me, I hope to God he loves me.
Why the hell does he love me not?
I’d rather leave that daisy to rot.

I am woman.
But when hair grows where the hair grows,
when I’m more hot blood and less red rose,
don’t chide me for my human-ness
and ask me why I’m pissed.
I am woman. 
I resist.


text/audio // rawa majdi
art // sarah farhoud