| words that get in your teeth

On Not Speaking Up by Mycah Miller

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A man,
of course, it is always a
man, once told
a child, a boy, I was

teaching
to stop being
distracted by my breasts.
The boy, the child,

wasn’t,
but this isn’t
good enough for
patriarchy.

I cannot
be teacher
and woman at the same
time. I will always

be reminded
which is worth
less.
The boy will either

learn
or be taught
and I am just
the lesson. I

am so
sorry that I
apologized then
for being (or not

being)
a distraction. I failed
an essential test.
The man will teach

more lessons;
I will not
be another.
I think of the boy

and hope,
blindly,
he’ll forget
what men

say matters.
I will do
better next time.

~

ycah Miller is a Santa Cruz, CA-based queer poet, artist, and student, and was a member of the 2018 Legendary Collective Slam Team, the winners of the 2018 Southwest Shootout held in Albuquerque. She currently attends SJSU as an English major. She creates art as an escape from and commentary on the outside world in a continuous attempt to both understand and connect with others. In her free time, she can be found not writing enough, drinking tea, and riding her motorcycle(s). Her work has been featured by Vagabond City Lit, the Berkeley Poetry Slam, and Central Coast Poetry shows, among others. It is a protest, a love letter, and a canvas she has weaved herself thoroughly into. She can be contacted through her facebook page “Mycah Miller Art,” Instagram @MycahMillerArt, or emailed at mycahmillerart@gmail.com.

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