It doesn’t matter-matter

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I used to love hearing the sound of the swishing trees

As they swayed and writhed, dancing in the fierce wind during the early hours of the morning.

But tonight I realise I was mistaken.

The wind was not fierce – it was furious.

My sacrilege was as treacherous as calling an angry, black womxn “fierce” or “sassy”

When she was furious at the system which would surely kill her if she was anything but.

The wind is furious because we let you down – it tears itself apart with fury at our injustice.

I look around at the masses who have come to share solidarity with you

I’m almost proud and overjoyed but a little voice tells me “it doesn’t matter now”.

It doesn’t matter how many of us have gathered here tonight, crying and pledging our vigilance to the cause of protecting and fighting for the body of Womxn.

It doesn’t matter because on that morning none of us were there.

None of us were there to hear your screams, dry your tears, defend you, protect you…

So how can I post a picture of #SOLIDARITY when there was none of it when you NEEDED it?

I decide to not capture the masses who have come on this night on my camera, instead, I take a picture of the clear night sky.

The sky which was there when you needed help; the stars- silent, blinking, complicit witnesses.

The blackness of the sky which enveloped you in your loneliness and pain and the stars – no matter how many prayers you said – which would not come down to testify or intervene for you.

I was mistaken- The trees bent, contorted into a snarl, demanding answers from US.

One of my friends yells, “WHERE WERE ALL THESE PEOPLE THEN?”

I ask myself where were WE?

Where were we when this faceless, nameless man forced himself on you?

Were your screams muffled by the “fierce wind” that I love to hear so much? The clinks of wine glasses?

Were your screams drowned out by the moans of my own passionate lovemaking and shrieks of pleasure at the occasional simulations of forced sex while you were enduring its reality?

I want to write a message of #SOLIDARITY on the bench he violated you on, but I can barely look at it without thinking of the pain it will reap in you as you come near it.

I want to take a picture of these all these people but it doesn’t matter now.

It matters. But it doesn’t matter-matter.

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