top of page

Indictment for Sale, a Poem by Layla Maher

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

how many ways can you draw a woman / before she dulls / to linework and smudge /

and the murky liquid / in the tub / grays /

tipsy white folks tell you / you should have

fear / khaf / miedo / when you walk

down your own street / and a catcall is

justification / for mass incarceration /

and for junking the princess in the closet /

in an acid bubble bath / riddle me this:

how many times can you call a woman

crazy / before she breaks the / cookie-cutters /

it’s spring / the kohl that protects your

heart / run to / tears of / a monster / a

princess / when the desserts give you

reflux / get caught with your hand in the

pickle jar / slam it / live on glass and

vinegar / how many times can a woman

flinch / before you throw her out with

the bathwater / brown women fear

many things / walking at night in zone 6 is

not one of them / smell / trash / something

burning on highland and boulevard / split

a cigarette with a bum / you don’t fear a

catcall / you don’t fear the men who think

they have power / you fear the ones who

do / the ones who could drag you away /

lock you up / dispose of the woman and

the key / the ones who puncture pipelines

and march children to die / the ones who

devastate nations / over a catcall and the

sickest beats / the ones who only care

about a dead girl in the alley if / it fits the

narrative / take a gold coin fashioned from

god / and second chances / how many gold

coins for the woman / how many gold coins

for a key //


Layla Maher is a writer from the deep South. Her creative writing has appeared in Maudlin House, Neologism Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. She is a 2020 Brain Mill Press National Poetry Month Shortlist poet. In her free time, Layla likes to read, hike, and seek the silver linings.


bottom of page