I wore a skirt today. It was black, decorated with pretty red roses. I call it vintage because I bought it at Goodwill for $3.99. I like to pretend it has a history. Warm kisses from the sun, a gentle touch from the breeze, constellations of water droplets from the lightest of drizzles, freedom over my own body – all things I never knew existed. Drowning in a sea of denim as if my curves were made to be contained and restricted by this fabric because legs should only be seen when they’re pretty. A bird freed from its cage, spreading its wings, soaring high above and making its captor an insignificant ant with distance as it flies to the moon and beyond. Only to be blinded by the sun. It’s still free as it falls, it free falls, it falls freely, it suffocates in the glory of being able to be both free and fall, of having the freedom to fall. It has never felt as alive as it has in this moment when being greeted by death with open arms and a friendly smile waiting to swallow it whole is just a second out of reach. A rose sitting on its throne of soil, soft and delicate, well aware of the serpent beneath. Using its beauty to disguise its bravery, to hide its thorns as it waits patiently for the serpent to underestimate it because grace and strength, intelligence and feminine should never easily roll off of the tongue. A warning that its beauty is its nature and its nature is fierce. This skirt is empowerment in the form of sewn threads. A modern-day crown to emphasize my status of elegance and rebelliousness, of queen and warrior. It has a history of waging wars because it can’t keep its soldiers in order; fails to conceal confident strides and triumphant marches across the battlefield into enemy territory; fails to only protect what’s restricted and leave the independence cut and bruised, left to depend on jeans so tight they strangle strength and silence its screams. It has a history of being degraded and ridiculed, weak and fragile, naive and frivolous. It has a history of protector and warrior, rebel and intellect, fighter and queen, heroine and woman. So today I wear this skirt – my armor, shield, and sword.