for everyone poked so full
of holes, their own voice passes
through them, history escaping
the body in a series of echoes.
for everyone distilled into colour
of skin, choice of pronoun, place
of origin, length of hair, years, skirt,
name, limbs, medical record.
for everyone made to believe
that the petals of persecution
blossomed from the buds
of their own paranoia.
for everyone passed over in favour
of a name that seemed easier
to pronounce, was less of an assault
to someone else’s comfort.
for everyone accused of prolonged
adolescence, scars on their arms
marking time like a calendar, body
taking itself into its own hands.
for everyone blamed
for the stare, grope, catcall, assault
that cut like glass into flesh as if
they had asked to be broken.
for everyone deceived
into dreaming, everyone who left home
and family to provide for home
and family, returning with nothing.
for everyone pumped
so full of doctrine, the guilt which ate
into their bones, made them believe
breaking them was the only way out.