Voice Poem

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By. Nica Selvaggio

I don’t know what to say

My tongue trapped

roaming the inside of my cheek

chewed ragged

from so many words

bitten back

Gems clacking against my teeth

Mouth sewn shut

Because every time I speak

vulnerability pouring from my lips

tender budded blades



and suddenly there’s no more


Oxygen sucked dry

suffocating my speech

But silence is no longer an option

We’ve gone too deep

Unhinge my jaw

Breathe the sea

I’ve swallowed the


for so long

the skeleton key

lodged deep in my empty belly

Unlock Pandora’s box

Locusts flying from my mouth

The truth is never pretty

but it must



Purging secrets from the deep

feelings I’ve kept hidden

even from myself

Courage my companion

as I learn

how to speak.

-- it was always mine to say

Grit. Depth. Shadow. Resilience. Pain. Hope. Healing. Writing is the portal through which Nica Selvaggio explores the intangible and visceral experiences of being human that are too often kept silent. The messy bits that are difficult to put words to. Never one to be accused of sugar coating, Nica brings raw honesty to her work, exploring themes such as grief, adoption, trauma, sexuality, race, relationships, gender dynamics, power, and voice. Poetry and essay are her medicines on days when it all seems like too much. In sharing her work, she hopes that you, the reader, can find bits of yourself and connect to the healing alchemy of storytelling. Nica’s offering in the pages of For Women Who Roar takes readers on a journey through the four elements found in nature as they relate to the saga of her four names. You can find more of her work on her Instagram @nicaselvaggio or her website nicaselvaggio.com