Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Do You

He’s yelling into the phone.
He already called her a bitch,
and a fucking bitch just to add clarity.

I’m trying to read my book
and failing
and I can hear her voice on the other end,
hollow and reedy
like a bird’s bones, splintered
after listening to this noise for so long
and she’s pleading with him, shrill,
frantic, her panic beating just outside her skin.

He tells her
“Do you”
and he means for her to stop worrying about him
and start worrying about herself. To Do Herself. You Do You.
Like it’s that simple.
And I feel the weight of every woman
trapped inside these men,
flood into this subway car as the doors close.
Do You.
What a horrible phrase
as if her life weren’t her own
and I want to smack that phone out of his hand
and remind him of the prison he has built
out of his screaming
out of his jealousy and madness.
I want to remind him that Men
like him, help create Women like her.
I want to remind him that need is a two way street.

And he’s threatening to hang up.
And I just wish he would,
because somewhere she is strangling herself
locked in his room like another decoration,
her fingers trembling,
her mouth slack.
And if he hangs up maybe she'll open the door
and keep walking till she reaches the water,
where she can start over.

But she doesn’t.
They never do.

“Do you,”
he cries and stomps down the subway car
and I feel myself shake with anger at both of them
and I feel the helplessness
the kind of nakedness I once had,
but don’t anymore.

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