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you are a woman now
needing a man like a tuna
fish needs a can
your heritage rich with witches
minds smart, brilliant
who became a lot dead bitches
for rebellions criminalized
played into his lame superstitions
now you’re a twenty-first century girl
a work horse in the employable force
longer hours for smaller wages
twice the labor for half the respect
and even when you slave away
seven days a week
on top of the bills, the kids and the dishes
making it all stick together like glue
your strength is just his excuse
to short you where credit is due
your life is a long book of what-ifs
with torn pages like feelings
ripped from the all the pretty words
of years that tricked you into leading
a second class citizen’s role
it’s not like you had a choice
it’s not like you really knew
till time takes its toll and it all comes due
age distinguishes him while you grow old
traded in for a newer model
even though you gave everything you got
it’s still your fault
a man who loves you is worse than one who won’t
for he’ll blame you for all the things
he did and did not
when faced with the weight
of inadequacies he can’t own
it’s your lot in life
his hate and fear of the sacred feminine
fascinate and repel him in ways
that by nature you can’t escape
from calling you whore or femi-nazi
for the same thing he is entitled to
by what law or whose rule?
learn to curb your desires modern lady
you think you’re different
till you run up against your own impotence
aspire not quite so high beyond
the reach of his limits or his pride
his self-importance is indifferent
his built-in ignorance is indolent
and you, giver of the ultimate
gift of life-mother lover or wife
it doesn’t matter any way you cut it
make no mistake, you have what
he’ll want and take one way or another
subtle and wooed or openly cruel
at times even both
learn to cope because there’s no way out
when what’s between your legs
goes in instead of out
the furies weep constrained by their keepers
for all the women who wish he’d only please her
even so much as give a damn
about what her dreams were ever made of
the bigger one is you
and that just means
that you’ll have to suck it up
that much more or go without
when I see a man entranced
with this or that beauty
I think of the net ensnaring
the lie he wants to hide completely
he becomes through her
like he came to the world
through his own mother’s womb
and sidling up to my talents
what he claims to love
is what he’s planning to crush
the moment it makes him feel less
I look at him like a tuna fish eyeballs
her future gutted and subjugated to his
I smile at my responding desire
like I’m staring down the lip
of my own tin can
my own special brand
of death in a box
shaped to my wants
but I still stand up
at the back of the bus
and refuse to sit down or consent
that this is how he will bend it
twisting me into the villainess
afraid of his own death
he says bitch like it’s bad
for the fortitude he never had
in truths of what he lacks
and I wonder, why I ever believed
I needed him