Hyenas

I remember a time when they looked at me like nothing but a piece of meat

My long legs gracefully walked through the hallways like a gazelle

Where at every locker hyenas would lurk

I say hyenas,

Because had they been lions they would have approached me with a noble dignity and respect

But these, these were hyenas

Scavengers feeding on any carcass they could sink their teeth into and laugh amongst themselves about the chase and the takedown later

I could smell them on the hunt

Covered in the jungled scents of Polo Cologne and far too much Axe

They never asked you for anything

They demanded

And I remembered how I feared ever saying no like that word was not part

Of their language so they never understood you

Even if you tried to use it

 

I saw the way they looked at me

With hunger in their eyes like they were starving

But I knew they never were

Because at that highschool their was an abundance of carcasses to feast on

They would circle the ones whose self esteem was dying the fastest

Like vultures waiting for the final breaths of hope to die out

 

I remember they way they touched me

Handled me roughly

Used me until my soul became empty

No reflection in the mirror left, that little girl died a long time ago

Realized my innocence had been stolen long before the first time

When I didn’t even bleed because another animal had already gutted

Me claws that should have never entered in the first place

 

And I still seem them as I walk down the hallways, streets, alleys

Anywhere in public where my body is considered up for public consumption

Rape culture runs even more rampant

Laughing, jeering, in search of new prey to hunt, victimize and then blame

Fresh carcasses of lost little girls dying for attention

Thinking how they want so badly to be hunted

Not understanding the consequences of when they are finally caught

 

I know they never saw me as more than a piece of meat but I wondered if they had forgotten that I was a human being

That they were human beings

That this isn’t the jungle

And that we are made to be more than savages vying for a fresh pound of flesh

 

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