I am a Feminist

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I am a Feminist
I wake up with a messy bun
And stare at my reflection in
The mirror with disgust
I am a Feminist

I imprison my chest in a cage of cotton and wire
I feel it dig into my skin
A cotton strap droops off my shoulder
I put it away because it is
Unseemly
Hanging below my sleeve line
I am a Feminist

I put a blade to my smooth hair and watch as it leaves
Bloody scars in its path
I bask in the baby-like quality of my skin
And grin
I am a Feminist

I color my face in with harshly bright
Harshly heavy
Powder
And draw and erase
Draw and erase
Draw and erase
Until my white canvas is left red
And then I cover it with white again
Because it’s fun
I am a Feminist

I slide my hem along my thigh
Until it hits a place that’s not too high
Or low
So that my knees still show
But not too much
Because I don’t want to give the
Wrong Idea
I am a Feminist

I look both ways
As I sneak a brightly wrapped secret
Into my sleeve
And I heave
As it tumbles from my grasp
I pick it up before anyone sees
The atrocity
With rosy cheeks, I scramble away
I am a Feminist

When the hairdresser asks how much to
Cut off
I hesitate
But then say “just a trim”
I am a Feminist

He bumps into me and I apologize
He talks over me and I apologize
He says he’s right and I say “I know”
I am a Feminist

I hold up signs for a right to choose
As my ankles ache
In high heel shoes
And am proud that
I can exercise my own
Right

I am a Feminist

I am a Feminist

Accompanying Photo by Ruthie Stoloviz