woman

the first man who ever taught me to hate patriarchy—

and yes, it was a man—

i may need one like a fish needs a bicycle

but cycling is my favorite form of transportation.

became disgusted with systems of coercion—

of stodgy language designed for laying

bare the blood-thirst of a soul’s

blatant fantasies of punishment and pain.

became enraged by systems elevating and excusing

that old demonic indulgence for

a god named me determining

for the worm called you

a fitting discipline for when

you cross my will.

power wraps herself in guises

so her pursuit feels self-giving

instead of ravaging,

holy instead of violent.

he was not a man disposed to freedom

but he was a man afraid of fraud—

a cautious Adam, refusing to name a single beast,

for fear he named him wrong.

“you have all the power,”

i said, one day.

“why does that matter?” he replied

he couldn’t christen what he didn’t see.

so we never named the beast.

who coiled in the tree,

although one day I caught a

glimmer—

and reached.

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