ENOUGH ABOUT THE MEN; SEE HOW I LOVE OUR WOMEN
I’m tired of writing about the men who have jumped off the ledges of my mouth.
I tell them I love them and they say it back
until they don’t.
What more is there to tell?
I have loved parts of women too:
a bare back so freckled I wanted to scrub it with a nail file
to see how deep they went
to see if somewhere down far enough
we had the same color skin or sinew or bones.
Other parts of women:
two dimples in the back that hold less and less water every year
the dark stain running below the belly down toward the
one unshaved armpit
five stray hairs forgotten out of a braid
I crossed an intersection once just to be
to the ground
dragged by my hair
but I can see why the woman with the bald head did it,
maybe just to know what that kind of intimacy felt like
to have her fingers weave through years of someone
Because hair can be intimate too.
Because a hot street in Los Angeles has been someone’s
pummeled bed frame.
Because I have never purpled so badly except for men I have loved
I understand this kind of affection.
And because I have loved parts of women with the same shade of purple,
hang nails catching on their silk blouses
a good fuck you for measure
and a tear-stricken apology in the morning that reads
I’m so sorry
I’m usually not like
this I love you I
—from Rattle #65, Fall 2019
Jeeae Chang: “Like the other children who wanted to become doctors before having seen their own blood, I too dreamt of becoming something before knowing what it took. I wanted to become a poet for the same reason: disillusionment. ‘Enough About the Men’ is an homage to the women who’ve ever laid their hands on me, whether out of love or hate—I see it all the same.” (web)