sometimes it only takes a week for them to dry
sometimes it takes almost three weeks for them to dry
and they dry until their flaky ends become the most delicate part of them

a woman’s body dries too, and like them they keep their color even after they dry, and fall to the ground

touch a corner where it is easy for to split
and even after the wind drags them to the other side

my grandmothers
my mothers
my aunt's body,
my body has dried in this way

we dried
from my grandfather's words
my father's violence
my uncles stubbornness
my uncles ignorance
my brothers lack of respect
we dried

gasping for one single drop of water
thinking of the desert as we caressed our own skin
nodding our heads with a sickly thirst

we dried

pressed by winds of society
as they yelled at us to be quiet, act like ladies
we dried

as they told us we were showing too much skin
as they told us that men would stare at us and know what kind of woman we were
as they told us that we were really not allowed to use our bodies
as they told us that the turns we were making without our were not acceptable
we dried

deactivated and demanded by words that decided what we should do with our bodies

we dried

skin that is refused to exist
should not be a female's body

women who carried the name of men that knew how to keep dry, even after an afternoon rain
they are the interiors of oppression disguised as guidance and damaging love------------------------

scars and burns are what we carry

and my grandmother carries hers between her religious ways, and stomach
my mother carries hers between her eyes
my aunt carries hers between her throat and chest
that are shut and hollow
i carry mine underneath my fingernails as i am told that i can not be strong as a man

carpeted and patterned
the world we live in should not be a world in which
i can not touch my body without His permission---------------------

like a stream a woman's body should move
without any unnatural interruptions

skin that is refused to exist
should not be a female’s body

we dried
pretending that our roots were not deep enough to touch ground.