The Tragedy of a Woman’s Tongue By Alessia Di Cesare

The Tragedy of a Woman’s Tongue

Your hands are rock around his,
but your eyes are loose, always seeking.
This is the tragedy of a woman’s tongue:
swollen from the silence marked by our teeth.
We try to open ourselves up softly,
convincing the world that our insides are pastel and gentle,
that our thighs are glamour trails, glittering with welcome
that blood and gore are not a part of our hearts.
We come to the party, peachy and light,
not saying much, laughing subtly,
barely showing teeth.
We wake up and leave parts of ourselves behind:
clean our sheets and tuck our voices beneath the bed
to gather dust in darkness,
because a woman with an opinion is nothing
but an emotional bitch having a bad week.
By the end of it, your whole body is heavy with censorship
because you try to come off as a soft-hued and gentle girl
because he will only love you when you are agreeing.
Because everyone is afraid of the wolf.
Your nights are spent wishing you could spread fire
every time you were told to soothe with beauty and silence,
every time you were used as a curse.
It takes years to learn that you are not here for him,
or for the approval of a world that tries to shrink you.
Years to be okay with opening yourself up raw,
like the beast that you are,
unapologetic and seething.
Years to learn boldness:
to be wild with everything
that needs to be said.

By Alessia Di Cesare


Alessia Di Cesare is a self-proclaimed poet based in Canada, and an undergraduate student studying English Literature at the University of Ottawa. Her work can be found in literary magazines such as Persephone’s Daughters, The Ottawa Arts Review, The Rising Phoenix Review, in the first volume of the “Prose.” Anthologies, and on her personal blog,

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