I Believed That

“I am a feminist”

you say

to your friends

to your family

 

 

and I believed that,

once upon a time.

 

But

over coffee

my hands still wrapped around

the empty cup

 

I hear the words of the women in your life.

Through their mouths I’ve heard you say

“But what about my needs?”

“But what about me?”

“I’m so lonely, you barely touch me anymore.”

 

and, my hands still around my coffee cup

I watch the girl (a friend) across from me,

the girl who used to be your girl,

float away, getting further and further away

from the sound of her own voice

and how they wrap around those words

heavy, weighted words

left unsaid

expectations

and obligations

 

 

 

Do you remember,

one day, I was telling you about

my wife, and our long-distance relationship

and you said

 

 

How do you do it?

I mean

I couldn’t do it

I mean

going without sex

I mean

 

 

and I ask you

if you know what it feels like

to float above your body and

have to watch

while someone touches you

when you don’t really want them to?

 

and I ask you

if you know what it feels like

when someone calls you

and accuses you

of not loving them enough

because you didn’t feel like going all the way

the other day

 

“I am a feminist”

you say

to your friends

to your family

 

and I believed that,

once upon a time.

 

But now

I see you

for what you are

the word behind my eyelids

clear when I blink

 

I see you are

p r o b l e m a t i c

 

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