my riot is that there are countries in our world where my smile is
a sexual invite. countries i’m so close to where my bare shoulders render
me a piece of meat.
my riot is that there are far more countries where i can’t speak up against
men, where i can’t scream, where i can’t let my voice bang against
everyone’s ears; my cries a whisper “set me free, set me free…”
my riot is that my fingernails have turned into claws and that pepper
spray has glued itself to my hand; a part of my body now.
my riot is that no existence outside of my body exists for me; no existence
without the meat i carry.
my riot is my unheard voice, my dreams, my ideas; against a world that
has rendered my existence illegal.
my riot is the words i speak, my sentences; slipping out from between my
my riot is my very existence. and my will. my womanly, female will to
continue that existence.
my riot is my will and right to life and freedom; against the chains, against the walls.
Esin Nizamoglu is a Bulgarian-Turkish poet from Istanbul, Turkey. Aged sixteen in a city bridged between cultures, she writes in order to organize the chaos of an uncertain life. She also enjoys composing songs for the piano, traveling to foreign cities and learning above all.