Feet dash through the blood-red forest like tear

drops down a gully. Lose him. Her blue breath

is failing now and Daphne has to hide

from Apollo. Sunshine burns her body.

If he catches hold of her, she will break;

so Daphne branches out. The god objects.


The police see her as just an object,

so it makes London street sense to tear

through every woman’s peaceful protest. Break 

the cycle and they break you and each breath

hurts. The suffrajitsus fight for her body

and win; still, run. Until freedom, she hides.


And in history, Esther gave her hide 

and soul to Xerxes, who asked. His object,

she marched in a catalog of bodies 

and did what was told — even let them tear 

her from her people — barbarians. Breath 

of palace air is prophecy broken.


How many girls lose their hearts to breaking

for a country they love, which in turn hides

them under the rug, tells them “hold your breath, 

or don’t; here, my dear, is your dream. Object 

or not, we don’t care. Just don’t let that tear 

bruise your face.” Lace suffocates their bodies.


Reflected Ella stares at bare body

with the heaping dress threatening to break

the bed slumped by her. She’d hold back the tears,

but she’s sick of feeling like she should hide

how much it hurts to observe an object

in mirrors, ugly, grinning, stealing breath.


The doorbell rings before Ella’s tight breath

leaves the object’s mouth. She hides its body

under her prom dress. Her date will object

to the running mascara; she might break

under this pressure to smile, not hide.

As she opens the door, down comes a tear.


Did they fight for each breath for her to break? 

Did they free their bodies for her to hide,

ashamed, an object scared to shed a tear?