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?