Soft Manipulation

I am clay.

Comprised of the social ingredients
that have been deposited into my substance
since the day I was born.
You have soft, small hands.
I am not afraid of them
they are too delicate for my fear.

But what I cannot see is the talent behind them
the soft manipulation
they are capable of.
Gentle touches and strokes
disguised as friendship
and a fucked up sort of kindness.
You encourage me gently
and manipulatively use the few ways I have come to trust you.
You are creative,
smarter than you look.

Us women are made of such beautiful and smooth varieties of clay
and sometimes we allow your dirty hands 
to mold us 
for weeks,
a lifetime.

But sometimes we push back 
against your sneaky fingers.
This scares you,
threatens your masculinity.
So you poke and prod and fight us back 
with your lies
that this world loves to believe.
We are left with tear-stained cheeks,
without proof,
without bruises, broken bones, or used condoms,
only the words you said and the insecurities you made us feel.
Our only armor is our truth 
and our carefully crafted survival sense 
that tries to keep us safe
from men like you.

You can’t even meet our eyes.
You call us crazy,
swapping your dirty mind tricks 
for our “psychological instability.”
How dare you
you dirty dog.
I am clay.
Get your fingers away from me.
I am gentle and kind and I do not want to hate you
I do not want to hate men.

But dogs like you
make it so damn hard.