Women Policing Women: the Prison Of Belief
Ozzy Etomi

I. Will not. Be tamed.

I will not be colonized by love. 
Too many women have fallen, lain themselves bare,
So men could make castles of their ruin.

I will not be tamed. 
Too many women have broken their own bones to build homes, 
broken down their own voices,
To support the weight of someone’s authority.

I will not be beautiful for anyone, not dainty nor delicate. 
Too many women have been cultivated roses, worth only their petals, 
Dead when deflowered.
Too many women have starved themselves into paper dolls, perfect, pretty… quietly passing time, 
Passing away.

I will not let my own breath sweeten, any sarcophagal arms. 
Too many women have suffocated in the embrace of men who loved them so much, they had to touch them, 
had to feel their hands lock around their necks.

I will not be conquered. 
Too many women have died in the arms of men who loved them so much, they bury them alive trying to make them stay, 
Stay the same.

Your narrow ideas will choke you to death,
Before I yield.
Your skinny love will eat itself,
Before I am consumed.
Your will, will rot,
Before I let it go, let this go, let anything I believe in, go.
I will not be colonized by love. I will not be tamed.
Too many women have let it go.