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self-defense class

here in this fitness studio basement

an underground coven of women

hemmed in by blow-up attackers

sick of living in fear

here, we learn all the ways to break

those who would break us

a question of when, not if

in this land of the free

where 98% of assailants walk

knowing we cannot rely on others

that fights may be forced upon us

and technique can trump size

we transform our bodies

from targets to weapons

we harden ourselves like armour

poised like coiled springs

we defend and offend

deploying an elaborate dance

of jabs, hooks and strikes

to aim for tender flesh

drawing from such deep wells of anger

cries echo across the room

and though this muscle memory

could one day save my life

violence is so embedded

in this practice

i cannot help but think

we are fighting fire with fire

i long for a world where i can

cast off this mantle of fear

break out of my fight stance

and relax into softness

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