Speaking to Dominika
You will call me a dirty girl when I tell you this clean joke which brings tears and not laughter:
A Norwegian girl and a Polish girl walked into a barbershop and lost everything.
In a city of no guidelines
for caring for women or widows,
only the men were joking, using the stories
of ancient times
and the honor of today.
It is Dominika removed by X degrees from Kieślowski who knows how much time
I wasted wondering what good women do,
while forgetting to ask what good men do.
It is a gift to be simple, and it is the gift of patriarchy that women are defined
not by what they do or are capable of doing
but by what men do to them.
The awkward mirror, the mythology of mistakes, the avoidant recognition, the veiled and unveiled ones.
A strange experimental play, playing with the passive voice:
the woman was acted upon.
A duet done solo, stooping as if in plie, fondue.
This is the story untold of the years I was speaking, and the years I was not speaking, to Dominika.
Dear Mirror, I know I walked away from you,
as if you held my bleeding guts in your white hand
when you held nothing but an open hand.