when you leave your house this morning,
Remember two words:       Thank You.

Say “thank you” to the man outside of the bodega
who says “good morning” to all the pretty girls.

Say “thank you” to the guy that eloquently
acknowledges your well sculpted ass with a “Dammmn Gurl”
             (why else would you dress like that?)

Say “thank you” to the guy at the bar that leans over his friend
and whispers, loud enough for you to hear, all the ways he’d like to
bend your body.

Say “thank you” to the family friend who told you at seven
that      kisses made breasts grow bigger.

Say thank you to the countless men who have grabbed you
on the subway                            in night clubs
at bus stops
(our bodies have never been our own).

Say THANK YOU                       THANK YOU                       THANK YOU

Say “thank you” because silence is subversion,              ‘conceited bitch.’

Natalie N. Caro is a Bronx-born poet and the 2013 recipient of the Bronx Recognizes Its Own Award in Poetry. She holds a B.A. in English Literature and Philosophy from Lehman College/CUNY and an MFA in Poetry from City College/CUNY where she selected as one of the first recipients of the Creative Writing Fellowship. Sometimes, she swears that school saved her, but then she thinks about colonization of the mind and feels some type of way. Natalie likes to tweet at bars about teeth and trauma. Follow her and her scattered thoughts on twitter @scatteredstanza.