They tell me to be at peace.
They don’t notice that I am in pieces.
Regardless of the blood that drips from my lips.
Regardless of the bruises that shackle my wrists.
They wrestle control from bloodied fingers,
and crack my knees against the floor.
They wish to strip me of my strength,
and trap me in my voice.
They wish for me to cease,
gagging me with dirtied money.
They think it will stop me,
stuffed mouth unable to speak.
They wish not for me to find that interstice.
They must ensure there is no peace.
For their power must grow.
For their currency must thrive.
They put me on display,
a showpiece of a beast.
They boast of their might,
yet refuse to look me in the eye.
I stay leashed and muzzled,
a fine example of an enemy.
I stay crouched and listening,
teeth ripping at their gags.
I dare them to look closer,
to realize I’ve not been tamed.
They’ve starved the beast within me,
it ripples beneath my skin,
knowing one day it will have its peace.
Mariya is a young creative and student based in Toronto. She most prefers the forms of prose poetry and short stories; her writing often centers around healing, revolution, and family. When not writing or attending class, she enjoys sitting with her cat and staring out windows. Her work has appeared in such publications as Pyre Magazine, the Fiery Scribe Review, Livina Press, and the Bitchin’ Kitsch. She can be found on Twitter and Bluesky @mariyakeeka.