Unchecked

A Poem by Ruth Nineke

 

People don’t know what it’s like and
I’m not saying anything
But I know exactly how it feels
when those uninvited hands reach all over you
with the eyes and thoughts and wants,
of a demented fool,
a fundamentally flawed man,
and his desperately inappropriate plans
leaping out of his mind,
roving boldly onto your body
And I get it in some ways
lust is just what it is,
what we can barely resist:
I want who I want, and what I want
When I want them,
But that doesn’t mean anything I suppose
Because girls learn early,
we don’t always get what we want.
Each of us knows that
what we want doesn’t really always matter,
anyway, especially,
if we’re overreacting or being dramatic…
And why should it?
What has my desire, or pleasure, or want got
to do with you or him or anyone anyway?
And If I speak of anything at all
it must just mean
I’m after everyone right, after it
all the time,
it means I’m calling all the boys to the yard
What a brutally scathing insult
to be treated as though
their unbridled,
unchecked,
unsolicited and
unwelcomed
attraction is my penance,
my tithe for being human,
for looking like I do,
for smiling at you,
for ever even
speaking with you
Where and when
did I miss the cue I never gave?
What was it you heard that I didn’t say?

 


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