• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 05

Put the Needle on the Record

We hold our tongues,
swallow words,
bite down on the stick with unsure teeth—
hold back the authentic response,
for fear of disturbing the delicate balance of expectation, etiquette— how the well-mannered woman should behave. There is a fear of rebuttal, the anticipation of being belittled— even worse, not believed, when we speak up— when we speak out. The bark is now bitter from generations
of holding back the tide of truth
and the unseemly—
the unspoken.
Put the needle on the record,
without fear of skipping.
Sing your song to the sky,
despite the cracks in the ceiling you are counting—
the things you dare to tell about.