Identifying A Woman

Far be it from me to tell you

What a woman is or isn’t

Because even the act of living it

Leaves ambiguities.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Friend I Loved

I sip and think,
Drink, play something simple,
And dream my day dry.

Always talking in invented memories
Between us, our friends, and in secret.

Maybe your face
Has become the placeholder
For someone I never knew but needed.

Maybe I loved
Someone too intensely
Without extending it.

I never picture us having sex anymore,
But I can’t help imagine us being intimate.

We should pretend we just met,
And become friends again
With better experience.