Far be it from me to tell you
What a woman is or isn’t
Because even the act of living it
Do you believe identities
Are something we experience internally
Or something we’re assigned
By nature or how we’re perceived?
There are hormones and chromosomes,
Patriarchial structures and feminine superstitions,
Poems and stories devoted to Goddesses,
And those who break away from all traditions.
Desire, lust, and expectation,
Something defining or something latent?
A human being entrenched in Image
Or a depth of feeling you simply experience?
That which is not man
Or that which is only artificial,
A culture, a gender, a sexual character,
Someone you recognize but can’t quite decipher.
Style, substance, intuition,
A history of subversion and subjugation,
A relationship with words like “beautiful” or “pretty,”
The feeling of being prized or hunted.
A mystery, a darkness,
A power not delicate but malleable at the edges,
A subject that either fits you or doesn’t
But not a thing that can ever be taken or given.