womanhood is a fucking curse. it is beautiful and
devastating and permanent. once you have it you cannot
be rid of it. womanhood is a leech on my body, my soul,
my life. i could not be any other way.

i yearn to be seen as a boy. i don't know if i wish to be
a boy, per se, but i fear it may be my only option to survive.
what else am i to do? lay back and take it?
sit and endure the rest of my life as nothing more than
meat? a body with something resembling a mind and a voice
but not quite enough to be a person? am i supposed
to be happy this way? am i supposed to stay ignorant?
maybe that would be better- not knowing.

i am never without a man, either. on walks he looms just out
of view, or somewhere in my head making passing
comments at me. at home, he leers through
the peephole in my bedroom door, boring his eyes into
my skin and nothing but my skin. the man is not always
imaginary but at this point i can hardly tell a difference.
i know i am torturing myself but how am i supposed to stop?

who is meant to be my advocate? is it me? the older woman
cries out and is brushed off as senile. the teenager screams
and begs to be heard and is called hysterical.
the child, unaware, is deemed as prey. what am i to do?
no one will believe me.

perhaps i am only a body. i fear my voice is no longer a tool
i know how to use. i sit and write and read and think
to myself and watch as the women around me cry and shriek for help
and i wish i could cry like they do. i wish
i had their voices. but no one will ever believe me.

despite this, i know my body is not mine. it has not been
mine for a very long time. i am so excited to be old
so that i can finally be seen as i am. i am so excited
to be more than my body.

i crave release. how must i explain to a man
that i live every moment in fear? he will simply smile and laugh
at the absurdity of it all, and i fear he knows somewhere
in the back of his head that i am right.

i cannot even entertain the thought of bringing up these
ideas and my fears to a man. i tell him i am reading
a book on feminism and he leans back, rolling his eyes
and clicking his tongue instead of saying anything.
i can see behind his eyes that he thinks of me as crazy
and stupid. he reminds me that he agrees with women's rights
as if he believes i should applaud him or
present him with some medal. he tells me his jokes are just
jokes and that he can't recall knowing any
predatory men and i do not say anything. it doesn't matter
what i tell him- his mind is made up.

i wish i could talk and be heard. there is nothing more to say.