by Mia Parola
Women are billionaires
Too now, grasp bank accounts so filled
They should gushingly overflow
But stay confined, expand to vail their insides
Like the pockets of a man’s jeans:
Made deceivingly deep, and so foreign
We forget its owners have never overworked
Their fingers into ten small hands
Weighed down by their burdens.
Suppose we call it feminism—all 336
Of them built from nothing to stand tall,
Singlehandedly shatter wealth gaps
For themselves. They’re “go-getters” like tsunamis
Of a sea that will never feel large enough
And crashes to drown simple yellow coasts,
Strip its beaches into a tragedy,
Damaged and grotesque as the dead land
Around their own tarry oil mines.
We’re taught to loom as tall as thick smoke
That pollutes from factories controlled by a few,
Encouraged to long for a height
Far taller than our mothers longed
As together they set foot in packed universities,
The first of their family.
Suppose we call it feminism.
When Athena turned to poison
The hair of a woman with her entrancing power,
I imagine Poseidon nodding beside her,
The hand of he and his brothers on her shoulder
And the low-tide calmed as light waves
Lap up sand at the shore, drag down dainty shells
As his satisfaction sets. I don’t want the only seat
At a man’s table, or to force my frame open
To match a wide stance.
I’d rather the serpents bite at my skull,
Pick me clean and leave my skin in charred scabs
Than carry a weapon as a reward, dazzling
With our mothers’ exhausted, stolen eyes.