Sometimes I grieve that I am a woman. 

 

When I watch two men being soft together:

their ferocity and bravery

their unfurling nakedness,

the sting comes into my eyes

as though I am remembering something I’ve lost;

 

I can taste its residual linger on my tongue

so I swipe it over my teeth

and across the roof of my mouth

to have its flavor

for just a moment longer

before it dissipates. 

 

I am a woman. 

Not just within the slope and weight of my birth-given body

but inside of my self-chosen interests,

fitting the mold

even as I slop over the sides of it. 

But there’s a voice, small, behind my heart

in the blackred caverns of my chest

that has a name that isn’t my own,

and beats its fists against the strange cushiony feeling of my flesh

and wishes to know itself

within firmness and fur

I do not possess. 

 

When I was 13 and my father had died

 – though do not try to blame this duality on loss –

I went through his closet,

lamenting that, even being so much smaller than him

his jeans wouldn’t fit over the width of my thighs

and the curve of my pubescent ass,

so I took his shirts

and scissors to my hair

and even with the early onset of breasts busting out

(no matter what I did to try and hold them back)

I was mistaken twice that year for a boy,

got called a dyke

despite my boyfriend. 

 

Perhaps they could smell it on me –

the other person lurking inside of my flesh,

seducing the beautiful gay boy

who loved me

but not my gender. 

 

You could try and say that maybe I was influenced

by the gossiping guesses of family

while I was in gestation –

all proclaiming that I Must be born a boy,

too many girls had already been born in the family,

It was time.

Perhaps in my mother’s womb,

through the sloshing

I heard them choosing names:

Forest, Hunter, Gabriel,

but it was too late.

 

I must have had a choice, at some point, to have taken it a step further,

to have rebelled even more loudly against the feminine,

but it comes in waves,

I put on heels and lipstick,

I paint my nails and devour fashion magazines,

gyrating in the club like a goddess on fire. 

 

I feel the power surge in my womb

and the aching weight of my breasts. 

I play the part of the seductress and the kitten.

 

And still,

in the dark,

when a man has had too much to drink

or thinks he can rest for a moment

inside of my safety

the predator emerges;

not some BDSM bitch with whips and leather bustier,

but flared nostrils and manhands

grabbing hold of his hipbones from behind

and scorched breath against his ears

whispering nothing,

telling him everything. 

 

 

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About jake.forrest

Poet. Songwriter. Etc. View all posts by jake.forrest

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