By the grace of God I thank my stars that I'm alive and we still are
advancing now although still slow come equity to those who co-inhabit
this space with men who know we serve as we did then;
no need to hide identities when writing farce or tragedies.
The skeptics say we cannot hold ourselves up to the manly mold -
just stories of romance and dreams of girls who play in make-believe,
just poetry that won't add up or earn such praise or test enough
of will and strength, no image clear when dreams just have no use here.
But no, now times are different, right? Women are heard and in well-sight
of earning posts as high as light and are judged on merit as all men might.
A culture sewn together well by threads of cloth slit to sell.
And films where men in nudity are shown as much as girls may be.
Magazines that push the skin to rub enough, absorb within;
the human form was made to sell; that's all I need - no talent fell
before your eyes, no need to blind you
with the wool that I may toss in verses lost by my chest size.
Luckily, it could be worse as we have seen in journals' terse
accounts of women in the Middle East where women are thought less than the beast
that runs amuck in city streets, in blood of men through desert heat.
We have the liberty to speak and fight and vote and drink and sleep.
We are allowed to work alone outside the house and choose our own way to live
if choose we must, but ask not what this means for us.
If you don't know or understand you'll never know; so must I stand
and beg you for equality in stature, sexuality, and strength
you've never given out of fear you'll lose your own?
In all the years since Currer Bell, I hope we must have grown.
If the only way to sell my art is to sell myself as a sugar tart
and flaunt my ass the way they do to show that trash is worth a ransom, too,
than maybe I should find a church to re-baptize myself for another birth
so that I can avoid all the trappings still net and inequalities that have not balanced yet.
Perhaps I’ll become the next Currer Bell and then, by merit, my art will sell.