Not All Men

for centuries women have fought
tooth and nail to be able to take care
of themselves because it is a privilege.
when you can change your own oil and
fix your own plumbing
you don’t have to worry about
being stuck with a man
who beats you into submission.
women who can change tires
and gouge eyes out don’t waste time
covering bruises with foundation
or hiding dollar bills between pages of books
in hopes that one day they’ll have enough
to change their name in a new town.
not all men are like this.
just enough for me to be afraid.
to clutch my keys between my fingers
whenever i leave my house alone.
enough for me to invest in pepper spray.
i haven’t always known how to take care of myself.

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