“Maybe they’ve never seen a real woman before
and they just don’t know how to
pose you,”
my friend chimes in.
It’s friday night and I’m
stuck in a mirror
with a convex stomach and a
complex about who I’ve been.
A real woman.

“Nudes make me feel good about my
curves so I let them take my picture
and plaster it on their wall or screen
or dick or face,
but only if they pay me.”
My stomach out;
a foretelling declaration of
where I’ve been or
where I’m going next.

“And that’s how I got through my twenties, “
I turn to her, sucking back some breath,
ribs and minor self beratement that I mostly manage in
soft-spoken statements,
“but they never angled me right so I always looked so
unbelonging.”
(I wave my hands over nothing)
“So unkempt without the cool ferality.”
(Adjust an invisible strap)
“Fat even.”
(Pat a bulging abdomen)
Pause for impact.
A real woman

an old 31 and
I should have tried giving birth but I’m just
posing for the boot-licking attestations,
disrobing, digging my heels in the Earth,
cultivating filters that diminish my history of war,
and planting deeper into myself.
I’m circling mugwort and other herbs to kill
those infantile stages of myself
and then ripping them up and lining the steps to
his back door,
snapping pictures of my friend’s feet
so she can get in on this self-started
oppression.

Profits.
“Guy love it when the heels are dirty.”
I assure her and remove the lens cap.
“There’s a niche market for that,
for gross imperfection so long as you
only fuck about it.”
I snap a shot of exposed ankle.
“And don’t complain.”
Pause for impact.
A real woman

uncaging,
growing up like a tree,
like a tall, tall sycamore
trying to root the sky
snapping fingers at the clouds
willing them to come down
and cradle me,
birth me a Venus
or a man
or a son
I can resent
for not being born
in the female form
and never feeling shame,
injustice,
or scorn at her online portfolio,
for her brown spots or crows’ feet,
smile lines,
un-perky breasts and policy made
citing divinity ruling the clefts
we have hid underneath asphyxiating tongue
and dress.
never ending clots,
never ending “sorries,”
never coming orgasms,
stretch marks,
YOGA INSTRUCTORS,
intense self-awareness and not a safe space to
hold it nor the courage to bare it so I’m evaporating
into my cunning,
molding my imprudence
into little piles of cash.
Heart like a baby bonsai:
blossoming once but pruned quickly
to be largely unassuming,
small in stature, right in might and
size and always frighteningly
quiet.
A real woman.

Boys who call at one am
and never more and don’t you ever arrive
through any front doors,
boys who kill animals they adored,
boys who kill whores for sport,
boys who kill with roving eyes
and theories of futility and economic utopia
that sound a lot like
affairs and partial femicide.
Quenchless chocolate cravings,
unbleachable spots on the sheets,
glass ceilings and wrinkles in the
skirt and no domestic creak in her joints,
several unexplained premature births,
sudden miscarriages,
early menarche in white,
late menopause through work,
over two uninsured abortions,
or in my case,
threats of what look to be
an extremely healthy
pregnancy.
A real woman.

Pausing for impact.
I am not knocking on his screen
with assertion,
with tears,
with ire.
I am fingering the
tiny empty tincture bottles of
pennyroyal,
blue and black cohosh
on his back porch
where he missed the recycling
and remembering the first time
he served me tea before work.
Let me stay for breakfast.
Let me lie down for a while.
when he admitted there was dairy in something
and I said
“I haven’t slaughtered in years”
and
“It’s just my stomach, don’t
worry…”
Layed me down gently and
smiled and said
“feel better soon.”
A real woman:

a concave silhouette
bleeding outside
of his locked door.

”black cohosh”

 

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