This week Audrey’s Corner celebrates Social Justice Week with creative works from Julianna Rezza, including “an elegy to the women,” and “the girlboss.”
i do not step into the male skin like i’d step
into a onesie, zip it up to my neck and fasten
the head piece, wrapping it around my body like
a new reality, hoping that if i look like one,
talk and walk and bark like one
people will treat me like one.
hoping that if i press my lips into a thin line and
size up a girl that smiles i will get respect for
laughing at the guessed time it would take to beat it
hoping that if i exude the ability to pick a girl’s
existence to shreds i will feel good when the rips
don’t scab and her soul blisters and bleeds.
hoping that if i hold myself just so
they will know they must earn my respect-
that they must open their mouths or their
legs—whatever gives better compliments – in
order to have a modicum of approval, of reprieve
from the constant feeling of tripping, being
curbstomped up a down escalator
in an attempt to not feel like
gum stuck to the bottom of the societal shoe.
no. i cannot justify donning that skin
no matter how good it might feel.
i will not be a part of the problem.
an elegy to the women
For the little girl
with fuzzy pajama shorts
and neon painted finger nails.
For the teenager at the bar
words a happy jumble
a giant smile upon her face
with a fruity drink and
music thumping in her chest.
For the ponytail
grinning as she leaves the gym
keys jingling as she removes
one earbud and opens the door to her car.
For the woman post-divorce
walking back from
trivia night with singles Halley-and-Rachel-
at the wrong time.
For the runners in the state parks
or the bathroom stalls
or caught in the darkness of the ice machine
at a motel outside.
For the frantic breaths of escape
quiet breathes through the tape
last breaths through tears.
For shallow graves
and shitty obituaries
and the sickening smell of
you wished to receive
for the first time
it wasn’t a lot to ask.
i hope you know that