Survivors in a Sexist Society


It became a regular routine to feel helpless,

to be wandering around nowhere looking for nothing

all the while dreaming of something greater

unbeknownst to imagination, some sort

of better turnout. But remained helpless -- maybe

it would’ve been better if she hadn’t run,

if she had embraced the moment - she thought

it was his, she thought consent was not in her power,

she was convinced that this was the feeling,

she was supposed to be feeling all this time --



Someone help her she’s screaming below the soil that she’s hurting,

and no one hears her. She thinks it might just be the time

to let go of the pain she has felt and let people see her smile,

to forget that she is hurting -- maybe

they’ll like her more, and listen to her voice

if she pretended she was just like the other ones who

didn’t have fear running through their minds,

pretended that those asian-wide-eyes were fearless -- maybe

they will not dare say her face is scarred

with disgrace marked upon the wrinkle-less dewy

cheeks that have done nothing but suppress the words

she could use to express all this



She is wondering about home, and what she is missing,

the cilantro she would chop into a wok her grandmother

was tossing -- a food she didn’t know the english-name of

but ate her whole life,

and the water she brought to boil and the rice she cooked,

and the khing, kra-tiam and prik-thai-orn,

translated ginger, garlic and green peppercorn that

she collected under her fingernails. She thought that maybe --

a few stalks of green onion, toasted rice powder,

minced pork and some more ingredients she can’t recall

would bring her home. But, she can’t go back.

Her family doesn’t understand her story,

doesn’t understand her pain; makes her take the blame

for that moment she was touched in a way

that made the comfort of her soul go



She gradually came to peace with losing her identity

as it slipped away in the air she did not know where,

but it was not the air of her home --

not the air permeated with that cilantro, garlic, ginger,

and green peppercorn scent. All people can think of when they hear of her country is

elephants, traffic, ‘beautiful beaches’, very-very-hot weather; otherwise - unknown --

they cannot see who she is and where she comes from,

she carefully loses that part of herself to fit in.

She prays one day someone would come and mention

something to her about her country that is more than food -

something that will help her use her voice, and other victims that she knows

are hiding, but she cannot find. Something that will bring her back

the comfort, that throughout these silent, lonely years, she has been


But, hold on, because

I promise

that, in this world,

we will be





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