last one standing


by Doriana Diaz

they ask me why I am not nice anymore 

they ask me why I walk with my eyes straight and never look anyone in the eye for too long.

“You never smile, unless you’re laughing” says the boy in my poetry class, I take out my pocket knife and  cut out his tongue. 

they ask me why I don’t stop to make small talk with the stray wolves standing on the back alley corners, hungry and hunting.

“ma, Rob told us he saw you out last week with your ass out. I didn’t know you was so thick, why do you hide it under those long hoodies?”

I hide it to avoid this. I spit and bite like a wild dog breaking the metal on its cage.

I strip them all raw of their human skin, they never saw it coming, the sound of teeth against bone, pulling and pulling.

I don’t care as long as my body lives, as long as I am the last one standing.


the man on the train sees me sitting across from him, he gets up and moves next to me, as his hand reach for my upper thigh he whispers 

“ayo lemme get your number, I think I could be good for you” 

I hiss through the gap in my teeth shattering all the windows,

glass splits open his jugular vein.


they take me away in handcuffs, 

how do you plea?

not guilty. 

you call it intimidation.

you call it cruelty.

you call it violence.

I call it preservation.

I call it survival.