Basement Babes Poetry, Basement Babes Zine

Don’t Act Like You Are Such a Good Girl by Rachel S. L.


Rachel S. L.

Don’t Act Like You Are Such a Good Girl

You said,

“Don’t act like you are such a good girl” And I walked off, feeling you were right My hair was wet.

The cold shower droplets mixing with my tears.

But, how can a woman feel good When the soldiers are not protecting – But stealing, betraying?
How can a woman feel safe
When the orders barked are to hurt-
Humiliate; take what they want and not heed to protests.

After all, what’s a body when you have been taught to occupy what isn’t yours Since birth?

I almost don’t want to think this isn’t your fault.

Half a world away, how can a woman

Walk with strong legs when you held them up?
How can she trust a deep voice in conversation

When no in two languages wasn’t enough?

Years later, I can still smell the room and feel that cold shower. The water forced on me after you forced yourself.
I can close my eyes, and hear your accent – your lisp.

The way that I thought of you as a protective guide to my homeland When you thought of me as an easy pass, an American toy not welcome.

You said,

“Don’t act like you are such a good girl” And I gave you back your hat.
I’m thankful it was just knit,
For if it was strong, hard, like I used to be
It would be as if I gave you protection from what you took from me.

My legs are strong now.

They’ve walked miles in 9 countries, since the day you taught me that Not all soldiers are to be trusted.
My legs hold up my temple of a body.
They even took me back to the city that broke me.

I walked through those streets, alone.

And I didn’t for a second wish I had a protector.
I’ll fight you off again and again in my nightmares
Like I did in person.
Like I’ll keep doing.
To anyone
Who makes me feel,


About the author:

Rachel is a mid-twenty year-old from a small town. She is a voracious reader, a tea connoisseur, and a mango enthusiast. She works in an office cube by day but is constantly dreaming of far-away places to travel.

Featured in Basement Babes, Issue 16

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