I do not get your attention until I clear my throat and spit blood
I am not seen until my blackness bleeds to prove I'm human 
I am not heard until I speak in a broken voice for all the men to hear
My fingers bleed from digging through broken glasses for attention

My cries are not enough 
I need to bleed to validate my pain
All this sweat dripping from my face is just but an act until it turns into blood
It’s not violence until someone has died
How can I be violated and still have my voice?
Surely I’m just using it to seek attention 
I am not heard until death silences me.

Hear me cry desperately on the street
My cries are fuelled by desperation more than zeal
I need for someone to hear me and attend to my bleeding hands 
I do not have to bleed to death to prove how desperate this situation is
No one needs to die for my pleas to be finally taken seriously

Help me. I am bleeding from just being alive
My mere existence is a long death threat to myself
Hear me before someone reaches me to silence me forever
My silence cannot be louder than my cries 
Hear me before my silence calls you to order 
No one has to die for me to be heard
My hands are bleeding from the shards of glass I wade through to stay alive

No one has to die.
Somebody. Anybody please listen.
This is a national crisis
My only crime is being born black and a woman
Never mind my love for another woman
That's a death sentence I carry with me for as long as I'm alive.
Somebody please listen.
My hands are bleeding
My life is in danger.

*inspired by a dream I had in which my hands were literally bleeding. Also a tribute to those we've lost to violent men who are threatened by women choosing to love other women.

Like what you read? Give Sanelle a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.