WALKING MAGAZINE

I felt violated by just a stare
Just a look in his eyes made me aware 
That he only cared 
That I was a black woman 
Who existed to mould his latest fantasy 
His great desire to taste this exotic fruit he longed for 
But lacked access to until I crossed the shore 

It wasn’t just him 
It was them 
A whole tribe of them 
Watching my every move 
‚ÄėCiao bella-ing' me like it was a key to unlock my staunch demeanour
A demeanour I developed because I was scared
I was scared of being too friendly and open 
Or else it would be assumed I was truly open - for business that is 

Why did it suddenly feel so hard? 
To live in this place I thought I loved 
But seemed to not love me back 
Or rather - love me in a way that felt like way more than a pat on my back
A place that invaded and penetrated when my no truly meant no 

A nakedness I can never fully describe 
I felt exposed 
And all I wanted to do was hide 

Who knew a stare alone could hold so much power 
Could make me cower in shame 
Afraid to be awake and alive in this city I wanted so desperately to call ‚Äėhome‚Äô¬†
But felt like a fishbowl, an invasion of privacy 

 A place to be looked at but never really be seen
I was the poster on their walls, their fantasy
The unicorn they had been waiting for  

A walking magazine 
But please turn the page 
Mark it as ‚Äėseen.‚Äô¬†

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