i step outside in a coat of armor 
dripping in silver 
that gleams like strange jewelry in the summer’s sun 
it is not beautiful; it is protection 

i am building walls with my clothing, 
to keep me from being seen, 
the gentle curve of my hips 
the harsh lines of my ribs 
the weird dip at the bottom of my spine 
they are all lost under layers of metal

no men will whistle as i walk by 
no women will judge the lack of space to separate my thighs 
no children will laugh at the lines that mark my arms 
no one can judge what they cannot see 

i step outside in a coat of armor 
it is the only way i feel safe

By PJ Heusted

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