A Poem for the Man on the Platform
“Men love a woman in a dress.”
I recoil as if struck,
And my knees bend under the weight
Of the realization that my body is not a temple,
Nor my mind a cathedral,
And my soul is not holy enough for you
To worship more than my flesh.
The yoke that straight America has chained me to
Descends once more upon my shoulders.
I am a beast of burden,
Lined up alongside my sisters
At the firing squad
When I outlive my usefulness -
When my beauty is betrayed by old age,
When I am enfeebled,
When I am no longer a feast for your eyes –
So you can finish
The job they started in Salem,
So you can burn all us witches
Whose foremothers escaped the pyre.
Men love a woman in a dress,
Right up until the point where the hemline won’t rise
And her legs don’t spread,
And her eyes can’t meet yours,
‘Cause she’s afraid of walking past you on the platform –
Scared of the words you’ll hurl at her,
Men love a woman in a dress –
Until they see her kissing a girl in an alley,
Thighs on thighs, hands on hips,
And he’ll have to come to grips
With the fact that men love a woman in a dress
Only because of what’s underneath.
There was a man on the platform, today.
He seemed to think a woman’s worth lie
In between her legs.
I learned that the hard way.
The flesh seems willing enough;
It is the mind that is weak,
And foolish enough to think
That women don’t hate it
When men tell them
There is nothing more beautiful
Than the yoke of oppression,
The same one
Onto my dress.