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“I Had a Man”
By Dorothea Lasky

Today when I was walking
I had a man tell me as he passed
That I was a white bitch (he was white)
And to not look at him
Or he was going to ‘fuck me in my little butthole’
I wandered away
Who is to say
I think I am a white bitch
My butt is big
But I believe my butthole is little
This violence that we put on women
I don’t think it’s crazy
Someone I know said
‘Oh, that man was crazy’
I don’t think he was crazy
Maybe he could tell I had a look in my eye
That wasn’t crazy anymore
Maybe he could feel the wild cool blood in me
And it frightened him
And he lashed out in fear
Maybe he knew I was the same as him
But had been born with this kind face and eyes
Doughlike appurtenances
What about the day I left
What happened then
Still I’m glad he said that to me
Still I’m glad he was so cruel to me
What bitter eye knew I had a voice
To say what men have done to me
What unkind wind has blown thru my brain
To make me speak for the wretched
To speak wretchedly about the ugly
To make my own face ugly and simple
To contort this simple smile into a haunting song

Dorothea Lasky’s poetry reminds me that there is everything and nothing scary about being a girl, being complicated, being vast and containing multitudes. Her new book, Thunderbird, came out on Tuesday from Wave Books and this poem and other beauty poems are in it.

Support poetry. Support poets. Support small presses. Support the love and confusion of trying to imagine what humanity could really look like if we wanted to have more of it in our lives.

-Jenny Z.

Filed under national poetry day Thunderbird Dorothea Lasky

  1. belindatrejo reblogged this from rookiemag
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  4. tracydimond reblogged this from wavepoetry and added:
    Dottie does so much with language while considering really serious ideas.
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  7. thestrangestfox reblogged this from wavepoetry and added:
    "Maybe he could feel the wild cool blood in me And it frightened him” Somedays you re-discover a poem on the exact day...
  8. wavepoetry reblogged this from altlitgossip and added:
    It’s nice to see this making the rounds again!
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  14. babrahamlincoln reblogged this from altlitgossip and added:
    one of my favorite poets
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