Saturday ∗ 21 Mar 2015

competition* #WomensMonth2015 #IAmNotMyShoes

Here’s to the friendship
that could have been ours:
wife of my lover,
lover of my husband,
lover of my lover.

For women at both ends
are always rivals:
smiling for points
at a beauty contest,
icing the cake
at a cooking competition,
sprinting for the gold
as they race to a man’s heart.

Do we dare
look at each other differently?
Are you not the yardstick
by which he measures my beauty?
Am I not the spice
by which he thinks you bland or salty?
Are we not strings tripping each other
at the finish line?

Look beyond the competition or the race
Our lives are not entwined
only by this man
but bound by rituals of womanhood
first blood of puberty,
blood at hymens breaking,
blood at childbirth.

There is much to share
other than jealousy, anger, rage.
Talk to me sister:
wife of my lover,
lover of my husband,
lover of my lover,
still, my sister.

— Joi Barrios. “Woman Talk.” 1988.

conspiracy of self-hate Jason Montinola 2010

Painting by Jason Montinola, “Conspiracy of Self-Hate.” 2010. 

*Because we are born into this, and then we do not know how to step out of the game, until it’s too late and we’ve become our own worst enemies. And still because we are more than our shoes.


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