I panic
and feel sick when I hear the word bitch
no woman should be hurt by this
ugly little word.

I panic
and keep myself hidden in a burqa
so you won’t sin when you see
my innocent body.

I panic
and am afraid to be myself, to choose my life,
because your culture says
I can’t.

I panic
and am sad when I see you support
other girls but neglect
your sister and wife.

I panic
and am angry when you give advice
in public that you won’t implement
at home.

I panic
and am powerless when you take my freedom
with the lie that you trust me
but “society is bad.”

I panic
and go silent for fear
of being burned, hanged, or even killed
by you.

By Sayara

Photo by Basetrack 18