People Say

People say you can’t be a lawyer because you’re a woman

Says who?

The Hobby Lobby

Taking away our good medicine for the obstruction of religious freedom

And people dying of AIDS, they didn’t know

You could catch if it you were in love

Or if it was your first time


People, why aren’t you listening to me?

I am as evanescent as the phoenix,

The racecar rolling down the river of

You can’t be a doctor, they said

How are you going to take care of your family?


Expectations are confounding and biased,

The double standard is like the air

Between rain and humid heat, the summer

Turning your shorts into soggy beach towels

Where hairy potbellied men leer at you and call out

That’s a hot little bitch right there—

Too short to protect you,

Society telling you to be pretty and be a victim.

No one listens to me,

They see my bra straps outlined through the shoulders of my T-shirt

And say,

You’ll never be an astrophysicist

(So why are you still carrying that broken NASA bag

Your daddy got you at the career fair,

Fifth grade and thinking you had to pass a test

Before you became a parent?)


One day people will say I was strong

That I stood up for myself in this world like a bitter icicle

That no one sued me because I sued no one—

I made the world a better place because I said

You can’t be a victim because you’re a woman


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