My eyes shift and pan the top of my veil
How shall I defy the contorted faces, the bloodthirsty rage
Upon my confession they released the male whose child metamorphs in my womb
Perhaps they will grant him the honor of casting the first stone
Why do they hate me?
Why does the sight of me fill them with visions of death and destruction
My ears twitch with their roars of rage but I refuse to quiver
I refuse to wish I was in America
I hate America
In America the women dance naked on the beaches
While one bare elbow justifies my immediate death
In America a man's fingertips caress the small of a woman's back
As they walk rib to rib without a wedding band
I walk five paces behind the brute I was forced to marry
The joy of American men is to love their women
And with their mouths they worship at the canal of their nativity
The joy of my men is to deny every need or love for me
When an American woman dies her body is dressed and laid carefully in a bed of flowers
I am thrown into a mass grave with my sister widows
No one asks us if we are dead when we are buried
All our lives are wrapped up in our husbands
When they die we are dead
I hate America as the dead hate the living
No one loves me and I love no one
I duck the first stone
Whirling up again I remove my veil
Their rage is profound
I remove my head covering
The stones turn to clay in their fists
In their moment of perplexed rage
I remove all my coverings and stand before them as naked as Americca
"Is she not a sinner? Has she not utterly blasphemed God?
May Allah smite you wicked woman with many curses.
A thousand curses on your naked head"
My sisters are watching. I must speak for them
And for my sons who will one day respect my strength
I know I will not see another sunrise but I will not die in vain
"Allah has no greater curse than the curse of being born a woman of Islam. If I must die then I will die as I was born cursed and naked"
I hold each breast in the palm of each hand
"Which of these offends you?
Do you fear that you might return to their comforting sustenance and cease to be men?"
A stone crushes my teeth. Through blood and bone I continue
"Can a man rise above the woman who gave him life?
If I am a cockroach, what are you?"
The stones come
They teach me pain but they do not teach me respect
I do not flinch away
I stand tall--my breast beacons of defiance
Until my broken bones betray me and crumble to the ground
As darkness claims my brain I fling my arms wide
Exposing to full view the things they despise
The things that would set them free