Unveiled by Sissy Buckles

And now looking me
dead straight
in shell shocked eye
the SDPD officer’s last
two words
before handing over
the DV pamphlet were
“be safe” and
blown away that a
mere stranger would
care enough
expressing to me
the consideration
that you can be beautiful
and untouchable
at the same time
coexisting with
the fragile art
of knowing
who has your back
even cold-hearted
statistics report victims
leave and return
an average
seven times before
the final
estrangement,
while in Afghanistan
the shelters are filled
to the brim with
desperate runaway women
seeking sanctuary,
maimed mutilated broken
by the very ones
entrusted to protect
their innocent souls
from harm in collusion
with hell-bent authorities
perpetrating crackdowns
on women wearing
“bad hijab”
one sixteen year old
young beauty’s face dissolved,
once proud Pashtun nose
disintegrated from
corrosive acid flung by her
own mother and
don’t bother inquiring
what she did to provoke
having her perfect skin
melt from delicate bones
I’ve been asked that question
all my life however
I think we can all agree
the brute capable
of such atrocity
has a heart as arid
as Meursault alone
on that barren stretch
of Algerian beach
with the Arab and a gun,
another girl survived
an horrific attack
hunted down by
ax wielding brother who,
after slitting
her beloved’s throat,
took to chopping her up
like a piece of meat
in an abattoir
she’d committed
the ultimate crime
and escaped from an
arranged marriage
with a vicious old man
sullying her families honor
‘I was like a thing
that they sold
he was beating me
with everything near to him,
with his glasses,
mobile phone,
with wood and stones,
his rough bare hands”
and as for me,
you can believe it
there were a lot more
hard revelations
to be had one long ago
sad and bloody
Sunday afternoon.

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