1) I am taught that my body is to be
served on a silver platter,
waiting to be devoured
2) I am not to dress for myself,
but for the men making a meal of me;
their stares cutting through me
like knives carving into my self worth.
3) I was ten when I learned cat calls
come with claws.
The unwanted words leaving scratches
that always seem to cut deeper than the last.
The rolled down windows of their cars
exchange whistles for the value of my body;
driving away like it was a fair trade.
4) I know to always say thank you.
Especially to the older men,
laying their napkin across their lap
as they prepare to enjoy me as their meal.
My body the limp meat lying on the plate,
surrounded by the sides of my
self worth, value, and respect.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.