if you pick up the phone
i will tell you that
to know a woman
is a privilege,
and not a right.
i gave you the privilege of myself.
you taught me regret.
you taught me that
i didn’t exist without you.
ever since you left the city
i drink i dance i do what i want.
i dive headfirst into the dark pool of the night.
i don’t come up for air;
you made me good at holding my breath.
i don’t think about you,
i think about her.
i wonder if she’s bending to your will.
i wonder if her back aches like mine.
i just called to say
that i have nothing to say.
that i have nothing.
that i am going to take it all back from you.
i am not grateful for any of it.
but i thank you
for telling people who you are.
—Julia D’Silva, second-year conflict studies.