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My Silenced Beating by Dahlia Garofalo

I talked with a man once

who told me the world was getting better


Hope is a privilege

I want to walk down the sidewalk

without fearing your probing gaze

What your hands do that may be acquitted

What your eyes do that will always be acquitted


I talked with a man once

who told me the world was getting better

You used to burn the witches

Now you dismiss them as bitches

Burn away all but submission

I remain the floating fragments

of body parts useful only to you

This fragmented breast, this shoulder, this freckle

I could form a body from the cells you violated


There’s a wide vinyl billboard on my way to work

I have a heartbeat 8 days after conception

A fetus floats within a red tinted orb

When I squint through the melting sleet

on my windshield, I see the vessel

The red pulsing beat you forgot


I talked with a man once

who told me the world was getting better

and I was too afraid to tell him he was wrong



Dahlia Garofalo is a recent graduate of Winona State University's English Writing and Sustainability programs. Her short stories, “Bachelor Buttons” and “Rodent Lovers” won the 2020 Winona Writing Prize. She is a strong advocate for Eco-Justice and human/animal rights. You can find her on Instagram @dahlias_writings.

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