I don’t know what feminism is anymore, but I like being a woman

[ Yes, I sometimes dry my underwear outside, but does that mean everything in this poem is true? ]

When it’s not raining, I dry my underwear

out on the balcony so my dear friends

slaving in the bank and the lawyer’s office

next door can understand 

that we don’t always wear lingerie.

It’s my contribution to some feminist movement.

I’m flying the flag of my purple cotton underwear

printed with turtles and bumblebees.

Friends, I pray your bifocals be sharp enough

to appreciate the bottom pair which

have been irreparably stained

by me and my period this week.

It came in full force gale style–

torrential downpour.

All the happy lemons

are blotted out by inky iron-brown.

There are sports bras too,

five years old and sagging from

being charged with the ridiculous idea

of holding my body together

in a semblance of normal.

         Not possible,

         never possible.

         Normal is not real.

I can remember the lightness of being a kid

my secret candy bar collection

stashed in my closet

rows of Almond Joy, M&Ms,

and Kit Kats on the carpet.

I only let the good people in

to run their greedy hands

across the sweet smooth treasures.

Now twenty-two, in morning,

I sit in my kitchen tracing the edges

of my laced bra under silk blouse,

sipping peppermint tea, still, 

drunk on my power to reveal or keep hidden. 


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