SPIT

A woman’s worth is measured
………………..by all that she consumes
…………………………………each time a man asks if she swallows

imagine Cleopatra counting calories
………………..as the health teacher shares with the class
…………………………………the sugar content of semen and the purpose of strawberries

some men only pay attention when a woman talks
………………..to watch her tongue work around her teeth
…………………………………to see if she can swallow him without biting

we are supposed to suppress the reflex
………………..deny the body’s way of rejecting these things
…………………………………in favor of how it makes him feel to release

a man’s power expressed in sugar-soaked teaspoons
………………..to help the medicine go down
…………………………………breathe through your nose and open wide

get your head around the expectations of a man who wants a lady
………………..who believes we don’t spit into our napkins
…………………………………we swallow carefully

the lie
………………..a set jaw
…………………………………a sign of strength


MandyRoseQuackMandy L. Rose studied creative writing at Colorado State University. Her work has has appeared in Alyss, Pithead Chapel, and A Poetic Inventory of Rocky Mountain National Park. She lives in Colorado with her children.

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