March 1, 2008
By K. Elizabeth Cornwell, 1 Chapin Way, MA

Oh the pull of swords
the slipping sharp dip of steel
in blood.
My breasts sometimes ache for the blade.
I will let them believe
I am a man.
For which of these other girls
(or even the shy boy hidden among us)
truly wants the long knife,
The muscle-hammered armor?

They dive for the pearls that the rough men bring
and I dive for the eel-curving bow
and I know
I know that they will believe
what they want to believe.

The men launch their ships for a woman’s face
but I fight for the honor
of rejecting all that which is female
and therefore subservient.

I see him tremble under loose robes as I go
and I shoot him a look
like an arrow aimed for the slender heel.
He knows what I want and
just like a woman
he lets me take it.

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