I was eleven,

Of small bodied age,

When I learned


That cruelty may lie

In disguise 

Between the thighs of a man.


Harsh words I dared not say,

Lingering on chapped lips they won’t let me lick,

Lest I provoke him


For fear that the body part

They proudly use as bullets and batons

Black and bruise me into an empty shell.


I was eleven when I learned

My body was a liability.


Maya is a poet from Jordan. 

Follow her on Instagram at: maya.o.papaya