A | Rachel Nix

Not all women wear dresses; I don’t.
I do piss in the same public restrooms
as those who do. The doors have signs
decorated with a little female form,
shaped like an A, and lacking all color.

But we are not basic models, uniform;
we do not all have high-pitched voices
and dainty waists. Not all of us giggle
when a man eyes us; some of us stare back
with self worth flickering in our pupils.

I belong to no one. The tattoo that stretches
across the blade of my right shoulder says:

“I Am Mine.”

And I am.

We scare the simple-minded, and escape
the confines of tradition, all while embracing
the bits of it which do not condemn us.

Contrary to what the psychologists say,
we do not all want to marry men
who are like our fathers; hell, some of us
cringe at the very thought of marriage—
and of our fathers. Some of us want children,
but not husbands; others want the opposite
or none of the above. And those of us
who just want sex are not sluts or selfish.

Anyone who assumes such likely wants to live
like us, but is too stubborn to drop the standard
pre-conceptions and holier-than-thou scriptures
which define them as much as their hemlines.

I vote for and against those who are
for and against me and my interests; still,
we have few options and are seen as both
victims and threats, depending primarily upon
our appearance. The times are changing,
though; as are we. You, whoever you may be,
would do well to step out of our way, and to take
that damned A-dressed emblem off the door.

Rachel Nix is a native of Northwest Alabama. She likes coffee in the morning and bourbon at night but rarely knows what time it is otherwise. Her work has most recently appeared in Words Dance, Melancholy Hyperbole, and Bop Dead City. Rachel is the poetry editor at cahoodaloodaling; more of her poetry can be found at: chasingthegrey.com


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