We Are Not For Sale


Yearning burns

and anxiety swallows me whole;

I look out the golden cage,

at the mud or at stars–

it is a decision I must make,

an act of the will.

Like the girl whose boyfriend lied

and sold her to a brothel in


Too ashamed to go home,

scared of his violence

and too hooked on smack,

she finds a picture of herself at

nine years old,

in every public toilet in the city,

her father’s handwriting

in purple ink on the back:

“We know what happened and we don’t care.

I miss you. Please come home.”

When we hear the sound of keys,

only prisoners rejoice.

© Alicia Khoo

NaPoWriMo Day 29

We are not for sale.




Fight or Flight

Flock of doves

She envies the birds

and the bees.

One day I will be a bird,

she whispers to the universe.


Her father walks in and she ceases to exist.

Eighteen and out, she tells herself.

As blows flatten her face,

and her hair falls to the floor,

she lays facedown on marble,

in a pool of blood, sweat and tears.

Now a way of life.

Heart still beating

around a campfire,

she meditates on her wings,

sheathed with silver and gold.

© Alicia Khoo

NaPoWriMo Day 6

For all the children and grown-ups out there going through domestic violence, you are not alone. Seek help!

Sorry Jane Doe, We Failed You


What were you wearing who told you to go with them alone you must

have been flirting were you wearing a bra stilettos mean you are a train

whore begging for it did you struggle why didn’t you run that blouse

was way too low take responsibility you must have been drunk.


(Are these judgments passed when Jane Doe is a guy?)