My mother told me to never rely on a man, even as she used her father, my father, my step-father as crutches to support fawn-weak legs she never bothered to strengthen. She’s as weak as I was when she stuffed my head with cotton balls she sold as clouds I could reach if only I tried.
She chases what she wants–men. To suck and fuck as if she will somehow be more than she is if she can only consume enough. Talk about sucking and fucking like a man. Be enthusiastic about sucking and fucking like a man. She burns her bra and cuts her hair and smokes until her voice falls into a low tenor. Fuck the patriarchy, but also fuck the patriarchy.
I’m not quite the feminine she taught me to avoid and I’m not quite the masculine she taught me to embrace. I don’t know how to love a woman because I wasn’t taught to love myself as a woman, but I love you and I don’t know what this says about me, about you, about us.
You wing your eyeliner and color your lips and pout for the camera in the pictures you send. You wear dresses and heels and have the softest looking hair I’ve ever seen and all I want to do is run my fingers through it. You are so radiant, I have to turn my phone off just to breathe. You proudly wear my heart on your finger, and I don’t know why.
To know something is broken isn’t to necessarily know how it is broken. And I want to love you the way you need to be loved, the way you deserve to be loved, but I exist in this grey area of social schema; and black and white seems more your aesthetic.
I’m trying to purge decades of poison just for the chance at something joyous with you. I don’t know how many times I can bloodlet before I grow weak. How many leeches must bloat themselves on my self-doubt before I’m pure enough to touch you?
I wanted to write about my mother and I wanted to write about you, but all I’ve done is write about myself. But I don’t know if I’m right about myself.
It’s women’s day. Red for the labor movement. Red for the blood we’re shamed to bleed. Red for the love we’re shamed to feel. Red for my cheeks when she humiliated me, and red for my cheeks when you flatter me. Red for two flowers and red for two garnets meant to protect me.
Red for my self-loathing.
Because I love you, and I won’t let her smog of a memory poison that.