Dear Cat-callers of the World,
It’s not cute
when you wink at me from the driver’s seat
when the red light comes
and you use the time to chat me up
when I take the extra long route
to feel comfortable again.
It’s not sweet
when you whisper in my ear
as you walk past me
pointing out the small space between us
leaving your dirty breath behind
with a tinge of violation
I never wanted to share this sidewalk with you.
It’s not charming
when you honk your horn loudly
to cause a reaction
Was it a smile you expected?
Or a flirtatious glance back?
Sometimes I remember not to look
but not today.
It’s not kind,
nor a compliment.
I’m not asking for a date
when I’m running errands
taking a stroll through my neighborhood
where I’d like to feel safe.
You leave me feeling
dirty, polluted from your words
tainted, a stain left from the air around us
pissed off, mad at myself for taking part in your game
When I step back
into the security of my home
I wrap a blanket around myself
if the sweet 10-year-old boys I teach
will grow up to be like you.