A Poem for the Man on the Platform

 

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,

Like daggers. 

 

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.

 

It doesn’t.

Trust me;

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 

Sewn

Onto my dress.

This poem is about: 
Me
My family
My community
Our world

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