many men think i am property

by Elizabeth C., 16

eventually, their true intentions are exposed,
like an open wound
after stinging alcohol purifies its every crevasse, 
and their desires are anything but pure.
they want to lay claim to my body 
as if it’s a land to conquer,
full of savages and swine.
as if they can rescue me to repentance
and show me the light.
but assimilation is not an option.
i fight back with my homemade weapons 
of thorns for a tongue and sharp edged pride. 
still, they bring me multitudes of gifts 
in a futile attempt
to disguise their predatory selfishness as peace offerings.
but i will not be fooled, 
for i know all too well the fine print
that will undoubtedly be at the end of a contract they want me to sign.
and i will not let myself succumb to someone else’s ownership.
many men think i am property,
but i am something far more powerful,
i am a woman.

Exton, Pennsylvania