You tell me now it’s safe to trust.
But, my skin is still black and purple.
You say it’s over. Time to forget.
But, the gravel embedded in my cheek still burns.
You say you will pull me up from the ground.
I am too weak and stupid to pull myself up.
You say you will love me.
But, I should earn it by becoming like you.
You say my choices are sinful, and you forgive me.
But, I don’t need your permission to love whom I love.
You say you can save me from my own impoverished world.
But, I say my integrity is better than your money.
You say my skin color doesn’t matter
That I can overcome it.
You say my hijab is the reason
That everyone fears me.
You say you have the answers.
You say you will fix me.
You say you didn’t mean that.
You say what you meant was.
You say get over it.
You say I’m too sensitive.
You say I deserve it.
You say you are savior.
You say, you say, you say,
What I don’t hear you say is…
Susan Ward Trestrail, 2016