Fragility is praised like sainthood:
There is a holy canon of femininity.
Idols made of petit bones, placed in pleasing
Non-assuming, pretty-faced poses.
To be beautiful is to be small. This is not
a world for women with large frames or ugly
faces. Big, wide feet destroy civilizations
and consequently ejaculations.
I overheard adults talking about a 4 year old girl:
“What a little doll. She is going to be so small.”
Valued—That’s what they meant. Thank god
she won’t be a behemoth—Can’t take too much
space up. We have room for only baby faces
and celestial embraces. For girls who sound and
act pretty and soft—like their skin: it needs to be
smooth. Small, hairless pets that don’t smell
human. I am woman, and I can’t walk or run—
these high-heels turn my feet into hooves.
Pray for tiger paws: Not intimidating ones—
but the declawed kind men lock in
silk bed sheet kennels. Hooves
aren’t exactly feminine. What’s feminine
is livestock. Women herded, tagged
and rounded up for sale. Slaughter the cow
once its milk turns cottage cheesy.
There’s always plenty more
where that came from. After all, us girls
help make ourselves. So, be tender, Honey:
men spit out meat that’s too tough.
Terri Davis is an undergraduate English student with a concentration in Secondary Education at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) in New Haven, Connecticut. She has had seven poems published in Folio, SCSU’s Undergraduate Literary Magazine, and is the recipient of SCSU's Jack and Annie Smith Poets and Painters Award.