'Ladylike' - by Gregory Richardson

You turned my screams into whispers 
Pinned my words down and strangled the life out of them 
You shaved down my fangs to save me pain from biting my tongue
Tied my hands together so I couldn't pick at the flaws 
Gagged me when I spoke the truth 
Now I'm sick

My nails scraped down to the newborn flesh 
To keep me from clawing at the truth 
You turned my rage into complacency 
Complacency turned to silence
So when the violence overcame us, 
Our voices locked away

We had no choice but to hurt anyway
To allow the pain to come to us so willingly 
You made me believe pain is love
That lovers, eventually, become everything they're afraid of 
That love is everything we're afraid of 
But no more

I have learned to grow my nails out
To protect me from cowards pulling me down
I smile but my fangs will rip you apart 
You will never again bury me under your secrets and beg me not to breathe
I will not hide behind the same fears as you

I will never again let you steal my choices 
The moment before I speak will be the last silence 
I will never again let you cut me down so you can stand over me
And call it "protection"

I am not silent
I am not afraid
I am not alone
I am resilient 
I am fierce

I am the chaos you so desperately tried to water down inside me
I will not fade under your hand 

I am loud
I am fighting
I am angry
I am angry 
I am angry. 

- G. R. 

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