To The Man Walking Behind Me

I don’t look back.
I know you’re there.

In case you are the sort of man
who looks for ponytails I reach up
and pull mine free so you will see
I am not the sort of woman
who will let her hair become a rope
that trusses her.

And in case you are the sort of man
who counts on shock—a high yelp,
a suggestive O of surprise—I pull my hands
from my pockets, square my hips,
make a pillar of my torso so you will see
you won’t surprise me.

But mostly I am ready, I am waiting
for your hand to reach out and
bridge the space between our bodies,
I am daring you to graze my skin
for just one fraction of a second
so we will see if I

am the sort of woman
who is more flint than flesh,
if I will be my own protective rage,
if there is a cold fuse coiled
in a snake up my spine—
so we will see if you

are the sort of man
who will ignite me.

 

2 Responses to “To The Man Walking Behind Me”

  1. Margaret

    I love the strength and defiance of this poem. Whatever happened before, the narrator will not allow it to happen again.

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