for the only day we can officially celebrate women

for the only day we can officially celebrate women

on international women’s day, 
a woman is raped.

she will wait until tomorrow 
to report,
let the anniversary fall on
a regular non-holiday.

it is something like irony
though it tastes worse.

across town, girlfriends gather at the
neighborhood bar, crooning drunkenly,
swaying to pop diva hits.

there is never not a good time
for Britney or Christina
or Mandy or Mariah. 

the mic is theirs tonight.
if they cannot have equal pay,
at least they fucking have this.

eight hundred kilometers away
a girl loses her home, 
tries hard to remember what freedom felt like.

the media says the women are
oppressed, but the translation might be wrong.
English is her fourth language, so there are bound to be

though, collateral damage sounds 
the same everywhere.

in my hometown,
a teenager will sneak out the back door
while her parents are asleep,
and make a run for it.

the reason is a bad influence, 
is abuse,
is depression,
is the reason.

twenty international women’s days from now
she will know closure,
or so her therapist says.

somewhere nearby in the present,
a widow buries her beloved.

it is better to have loved,
though she wanted to go first.

it becomes the only argument she regrets losing.

at night,
twin sisters giggle under covers 
about their first crushes.

a mother listens at the door and 
reminds herself about

she will ask them tomorrow
if the girls want to share their secrets with her.

before day breaks,
a young woman reflects
on being a a young woman,
and wonders how on earth
we could be all, 
feel all these things
at once.

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