What a Way to be a Woman

squashed between good looks and common sense 
in some train carriage or other
the sway of bodies and hers not like it was
not a single portion she’s proud of 
but rumbled in there with the others anyway

   a bag of cells, a bag of cells     says the train

she thinks of that puddle with the mosquito larvae
that shifting purple scum riding the breezes
six times changing just to feel normal, not even nice
and off to job interviews, a smile like dried porridge on her face
confidence is stick-on, post it note flaky, the drift of it

    they don't care, they don't care     says the train

she's going home now to take off her face
wash it down the drain like unserved noodles
and stare into the greying glass, last week's toothpaste
and the mole above her eye   she told that little girl
it was her brain coming out  just for a laugh

     time to get off,  time to get off  says the train

out at the station a sardine freed,  a feeding frenzy
and there's the man who plays his harmonica
slid notes and roughed lips and eyes that don't see
she fishes in her purse, puts money in his hat longing,
 just longing to know the thoughts he's hidden under it.

Written for Miz Quickly’s “Some People are Good at Titles” Prompt

16 thoughts on “What a Way to be a Woman

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