For You Who Cannot

I read that you are rounded up
for “hijab violations”,
raped and then silenced.
If you make it back home,
you bow your heads in shame,
viewed as dishonored,
and too frequently my sisters,
you end your own lives.

No. No. You were violated
but it is the Taliban rapists
who have lost their honor.
They displace their unacknowledged shame
upon you, the women they rape.
But it is not you, my sisters,
who become less
because of what they did.

Let us scrub one another clean
of their shameful deeds.
Let us rise in the midst of pain
from every woman-hating assault,
and begin to see clearly
whose soul it is that is stained.
For you who cannot,
I name the criminals.

©Susa Silvermarie 2024,toe%2C%20revealing%20only%20their%20eyes


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