I Had a Man

Today when I was walking
I had a man tell me as he passed
That I was a white bitch (he was white)
And to not look at him
Or he was going to “fuck me in my little butthole”
I wandered away
Who is to say
I think I am a white bitch
My butt is big
But I believe my butthole is little
This violence that we put on women
I don’t think it’s crazy
“Oh that man was crazy”
I don’t think he was crazy
Maybe he could tell I had a look in my eye
That wasn’t crazy anymore
Maybe he could feel the wild cool blood in me
And it frightened him
Maybe he knew I was the same as him
But he had born with this kind face and eyes
Doughlike appurtenances
What about the day I left
What happened then
Dark bird barreling down upon me
In the gentle air, to take me in his beak
Pink and patterned house
Never-ending sister speech
To go along the coaster and never return
To never repeat
Did that one bitter eye know I have a voice
To say what my words have done to me
That unkind wind that blew through my brain
With no thought of me
Just to still the jungle animals
just to feed the endless clearing
The giant
Green and simple
Face of the sea

—Dorothea Lasky