“If The Capitol Were a Woman” by Daniela Sow

As part of the January I Issue, we are sharing a piece by Daniela Sow for our Poetry Roundup.

“If The Capitol Were a Woman”

Many have entered me
but not like today

bloodthirsty men
and women
the insides of my walls
a crimson shade unrecognizable

they ravaged through me,
heaving and bursting through my gates
weaponry in curled fists, the hate
strong, unbridled

I was wronged

it was like
a father saying
“Here, have my daughter” —
Father, you were supposed to protect me!

now they climb my terrace
my windows wide, agape
they scale
my proud banisters, tresses
tornado through suits, dresses,
where inauguration speeches and balls reign
where “State of the Union” addresses hail

but this
this is not a union
this is a rape
seared into our democratic memory

but my legs will not tremble
they will not have me on command

my true people,
my communities of black, brown, and for all
will not bear witness to this and stare with stitched lips

I am not
my wound
my womb was built
to incubate and birth
promising bills
professional exchanges
peaceful transitions

so this strikes deep —
beyond my whimsical decor
and commercial corridors
you must ignore, feel past the facade

where are you, God?

where are you, warriors,
with peaceful pens
and hearts of justice?

I will stand
and help you to stand
tall once again

within our reach.

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.

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We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.

We hope you’ll join us.

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