Rae Rose
  • Rae Rose
  • Wanda Sykes made a joke about leaving her vagina at home
  • so she could go out safely at night.
  • Think of it.
  • Taking away their greatest weapon,
  • hiding it in a jewelry box lined with velvet
  • or behind a metal safe.
  • Think of it.
  • Walking at night — in a skirt, even,
  • in heels, even,
  • without the fear of being ripped into,
  • being ripped open.
  • Women in colorful dresses,
  • filling city streets.
  • Women taking shortcuts through alleyways,
  • talking to strangers, walking through parks
  • and noticing, for the first time,
  • the way moonlight
  • lights the dew.
  • A woman climbs a ladder,
  • sits on a rooftop
  • with a takeout order of Chinese food.
  • Her head in the stars,
  • she chews slowly,
  • watching traffic below
  • without flinching at the noise.
  • She marvels at shadows,
  • and studies other women,
  • their hips swaying sweetly
  • under street lamps,
  • alone with their thoughts.

Rae Rose is a California poet and essayist whose work has been published in Cicada Magazine, Lilith Magazine, and The Paterson Review, among other literary journals. Her recent book, Bipolar Disorder for Beginners, is a stunningly powerful account, in both poetry and prose, of her struggles with that disease. Marge Piercy has characterized the book as “readable, powerful and emotionally charged.” It was published by Garden Oak Press in 2013 and is available on Amazon. Her blog can be found at trulyraerose.tumblr.com.

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