Speaking to Dominika

Dear Mirror,

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.

~ by lhdwriter on June 9, 2012.

5 Responses to “Speaking to Dominika”

  1. you know, this really hits home today. was talking with my spouse about being too old for this shit of having to defend myself, just because some guys think with their lower parts first, and rarely follow well with thinking above the waist until they are call on it. and these are the guys who should know better…

    • Thank you, Cathy. :) I wanted to write about (the difficulty of) close female friendships and female identities – specifically how we mirror each other, and how intimacy between women is compromised when a female identity is bruised or twisted by a patriarchal set of strictures for (conscripted) female roles. This is also a sort of love poem for a dear friend.

      • it took me a long long time to really value true female friendships, ones where we lean into each other to face the challenges of the patriachy.

      • Yes. The things we wish would never happen in life, when they happen, teach us to do everything else better.

  2. This is magnificent, Laura.

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