She thought she was a Lady
on all those caffeine mornings
of sucking in and pressing out
and force-fitting overlaid ideals
onto youthful expectations.
But she was only female,
in the front of her mind, at least,
born of a long line of females
long stripped of the right to adornment
and male admiration
without conflagration in the pews
and the stigma of being an elixir
strong enough to wake the cadavers.
It's your fault they take you…
you are too much of yourselves,
honey hips, the shape of life,
telling lips that could expose the whole irony
of this thing they call reality
and hum the puzzle pieces into place
for all to see,
turn the game on its head,
make them cease to be
those canopies painted like heaven,
held up by her hands,
blocking out the true light—
punishment for being
what they were not—
and keeping her swimming
in a fantasy of femininity.
But lies only borrow breath
because memory is the ocean of the infinite
that swallows convention
and is older than her reflection,
so when full recognition comes back
there is only that.
Just the truth
and sound of laughter
because she will know then
that she was always a Woman.