Don’t Tell Me How to “Woman”

Image by Quang Nguyen vinh from Pixabay

You tell me
how to walk.
You tell me how
not to walk.

Not with confidence,
but I must be conscious
of my presence
in a man’s world.

I must lower my gaze for you.
And my silent steps
mustn’t be mistaken for that
of a stride.
I’m lucky aren’t I?

At least I can come outside.

You tell me
what to wear.
You tell me
what not to wear.

My baggy clothing
and full sleeves
should dress me like
an apology.

Because that’s what you want to hear.
Right?
I’m sorry?
I’m sorry I was born?
Or I’m sorry I was born a female.

I’m sorry I’ve bled every month
since the age of thirteen.
And I’m sorry I was born
with too much on my chest
and too much on my thighs
and not enough
in between.

You tell me how
to conduct myself.
And of course,
how not to conduct myself.

Because maybe when I’m having
too much fun.
Maybe when I’m a little less numb.
Maybe when I succumb
to my right
of not living in fear.
You start to feel something.

Because you think
that this vial attraction
that manifests inside you,
some how allows you
to travel across my skin.

And even though
I say no
you think I’m inviting you
in.

  • I am a biracial, female poet and aspiring writer for feminist issues- particularly of eastern culture.

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