Peer Review by l.grace.ll (Canada)

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reservoir girls

By: mia_:)

dawn over chain link fences /
we dip our toes in the cool water, breaking the mirror-like surface /
cupped hands, cracked nails, parched throats /
lap up standing water like it's our lifeline /
which it is /
shouts from the other side of our enclosure startle us /
precious water dribbles down the fronts of our grimy shirts /
stones and catcalls batter our faces and hearts /
smother us with your western fabrications /
stamp us flat in your cursed assembly line /
we have no choice but to lay quietly on the conveyor belt /
it's what you want, after all /
and you come, day after day, to claim what isn't yours /
but we can't keep it from you /
we damped your feet, silent, obedient as you jeer /
we watch as you dip goblets into our water, laughing as you drink /
you run our river dry, while we are forced to watch, withering and threatening to fade /
no matter, so long as your throat is quenched /

Message to Readers

don't know if this is obvious, but this is about people-pleasing. I tend to be a people pleaser myself and wanted to show it on an extreme level. Seriously, people, helping others is really important, but don't do that particular thing if it hurts you! <3

I'd love feedback on the formatting here :D

Peer Review

this is the most in-depth analogy i've ever seen-an explanation into how society creates the people-pleaser. this is an analogy for fetishization of non-western women, the history of female abuse and incarceral suppression of POC (e.g. U.S.A. prison industrial complex, concentration camps), and yes, the demand for women to exist in relation to men, to serve as their pleasure whether it be being stuck forever in a secretarial position and not speaking up in office, or full on objectification. even with all of the often difficult topics, you managed to make it incredibly personal for these people in the story, and for you, bringing distant issues right back at home.

would these people ever fight back? what if the last line was replaced by such a story? I want to know how people realize the barriers the face that result in them having to cower to systems of power-and your analogy for that.

Reviewer Comments

this piece is also amazingly dystopian-the descriptions aren't flowery or vivid, but bleak and gloomy and honest. i think this is really good because it matches the reality of both oppressive-suppressive structures and the thought process of individual people pleasers.