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violence against women is a men's issue

Kylee Graham

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                                     How many layers                do we need to pull back           

                         to reach the root / bone /foundation            of this epidemic

how many men have spilled their guts                    by accident
charmed by the warm aroma of            male dominated spaces
aftershave and entitlement            
more scared of what they admitted than committed
will hitch a ride                        on someone else’s shoes                    anticipate when its spores germinate                hit the open air
[when we can breathe deeply again]
after suffocating on the musk of cologne                    for so long
they try to laugh it off                    before it consolidates in the room
the air being pushed from their mouths                demanding it to dissipate                        without sticking to their clothes              
try and wash it away                prevent it    
from oozing out of your pores         [it doesn’t work well at all]         [we know]
they don’t want to be exposed            no more than the women
whose names                 are only punch lines in those jokes    
who gag on that sharp smell of                 aftershave and cologne 
every time                    they try to date again        
that were left to figure out                 it wasn’t them at fault            
but the silence             perpetuated in these spaces             
by men who were not            “man enough”             to stand up            
from their leather backed chairs                     too comfortable         
with scotch in hand            to spray some soft vanilla scent instead                
a more welcoming smell                 might ensure it doesn’t happen again
but the worst part is                    these men leave                                        knowing no one will tell
-violence against women is a men’s issue

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