“Questions My Husband Doesn’t Ask Himself” by Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco

Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco


If my neck is my second
face, what is my knee?

Does this top ride up too much
when I bike in?

How do you learn, at first,
you’re getting double chins?

People say, when you’re a woman,
you’ve lost weight!

People say, it ain’t that bad, and
I don’t think that much

will fit,
when you buy bricks, when you bought

bricks at least ten times
in the same car,

when you know that
they’ll fit just

How do you know
when all the bricks will be

When I was young I swam
at school, hearing my breath
make frantic

bubbles, watching how the line
of tile jerked back and forth.

I would see how my arms blurred

just like wet paint

would think of songs that I could play
when I got home

would feel the tight
and the slow ache

and I would eat
and eat
and eat

to fill that pool.

from Poets Respond
September 19, 2019


Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco: “This is responding to the story about the high school swimmer who was disqualified from winning her meet because her suit rode up. It made me think about double standards for women, and about how it feels like you just can’t win.”

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