I lay back as the water turns pink and this millennial is shrouded in a tone that denies her the arrogance to think that she is. That she can. That she will.
And I open to you but you just presume that I nag and I gripe; there's no more room for these feminist rights.
Lights. Long nights. Fights with thoughts buried in my soul and I'm cold. Not from the chill but the lack of will. I'm shut. I'm shattered. Possession is nine tenths and that's all that matters.
The woman doth protest too much. Regrets too much. Regresses and confesses and is not at her best too much.
I'm blue, not pink like they say. And soon I'll be grey and exposed and battered and bruised. Never mind used. Never mind working my way up because I'm down. No longer is the crown in sight, not far from my height. But far, far away in a land that never existed.
I missed it. I risked it. We tried it. We hid it from those around us. Our powers confound us. Compress us. Until completely engorged with the weight of our fates. We implode. We explode to the stars that are not as far as theirs.
But we try.
And we never give up.
In my house, a woman with an opinion or pride is arrogant. We only argue if I disagree or choose to speak up. Yes, I have the choice to speak, but I won't because the result pierces through my brain, my heart. My opinion doesn't matter. In fact, it does; enough to cause a rift.
I will do whatever you say. Not in so many words, because you vocalise my liberty. But I will submit to keep you from being challenged. Because that challenge is unbearable, especially when it comes from me. Five foot four, female, eighty-two kilos. More degrees.
So my life with you is quiet if I choose to be. It is quieter still when I choose to remain inside, choose to hide away from any distractions that might wander me from your macros. From our clean bathrooms. From my voice, inaccurate.
I come back to the female artist in the domestic space. That's me. So I am quiet, I am poor, at the mercy of your purse strings and in fear of my own disagreements. I cannot escape to the mountains, even to the hillsides where I might like to hide by being outside...and free.
Free my mind and free to find experience of being small in comparison with something greater than me that I can accept is greater than me. That deserves to be greater than me, however much work I put in. However much this other just sits back and watches this creation, this universe, I will submit. I am not female here, but human. No defence of judgment required when judgement doesn't exist. No defence of myself here; I am who I am. I am kind. And that is fine.
I dream of the mountains as I gaze out of the window that imprisons me in this cell block. In here my mind wanders to which awful disease I might have today. The mountain side or summit cures them all. Even if I rolled down fifty feet and stumbled, tumbled my way to the floor of a crevice, at least it's not a crack on the surface.
The point is, what is choice? I am choosing to inflict upon my self all of this bullshit that is a game, that is not what I was taught life should be. What love should be. What keeps us sane. Let me tell you that sanity remains if I wear it like a coat, like a shroud of deception. No longer my reflection, warding off the rejection.
So I try to turn off my brain. Those political opinions or questions about social status or being a feminist can be saved for another day. In my house, peace comes when we don't discuss anything, so there's no change. Instead I'll smile sweetly or look at the floor (1954?). It depends what I can muster in that moment of madness but I'm sure either will suffice. Just as long as I'm nice, no more. It's my choice, but what am I choosing it for?