she looked here and there,

beneath park benches,

atop kitchen counters,

in the misshapen clouds above,

in the dirt beneath her shoes,

she looked here and there,

traversing highways,

combing through alleyways,

scars camouflaged by cheap makeup,

in rest rooms, motels and hotels,

here and there.

she searched high and low,

deep inside her famished being,

a seemingly unending quest for the one thing that made her her,

that completed her,

that made her feel real.

she looked at all of them, straight into their oblivious eyes,

eyes apathetic, and eyes pathetic,

the eyes of men, unkind, untrue, unfeeling,

the unambiguous misogyny wrapped around them like excrement.

she never flinched, as she held onto the part of her being that held her together.

she never gave up the search,

and she is searching still.

and when they ask her what she is constantly searching for,

she told them all, with steely resolve and defiant eyes:

” dignity “