Some of you have never feared for your life in public space and it really shows

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Carlos Felipe Pardo via Flickr

Some of you have never feared for your life in public space and it really shows
glide through intersections up to bars
Traverse the city like you named the city
You legislate the city
Insert yourself in the city
Expect dividends
You chill in the city
While cross streets lie prostrate you
make jokes about us with your friends

Lips stains

The scaffolding of septic masculinity
upholds itself becomes itself

I’m tired of grieving friends &
swallowing headlines

I want to walk
like I’m not
being followed

I don’t want to be thrown
off a lap violently
I don’t want to be eaten
by train whistles crying out
Don’t want to be stuffed in a suitcase at dawn
Don’t want to be found days later after missing
Don’t want to be crumpled at bottom of stairs
Don’t want my death blamed on rough sex
the alibi du jour it seems

when you read my obituary I hope you see your complacency
hope the headlines mention I wore 7-inch platform heels
and dorky snow boots
and worn down slippers

So when you tell your boys it’s true:
a woman
who profits from skills she honed
is not to be trusted in love or life

there’s blood on your hands I hope you know

Some of you are out here walking
like you’ve never feared for your life
in public or private
& it’s really starting to show.

Emily Marie Passos Duffy is a curator of publications and live experiences; she writes, performs and teaches in Boulder.