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  • These poems are from 2 stories that took place about 15 year apart, the first when I was 25 and the second when I was around 40. Now I'm 53 and I'm still dealing with this shit.


    I moved into the separate bar
    less crowded than the restaurant.
    The maitre'd blanched and cried,
    "You can't go in there!"
    but I did
    and everyone turned to stare
    at the woman who dared violate
    the sanctity of the Men's Grill at lunch.
    All I wanted was a sandwich and a seat.
    There were plenty to be had, no line to wait.
    You'd swear I'd dripped menstrual blood
    on their hardwood floors, or
    exuded some noxious odor
    in their cigar choked air
    from the shocked and grimacing expressions
    on the all male faces, voicing complaint
    that a penis-less one presumed
    to eat in their presence.
    As the whispers and stares became comments and glares
    the manager came to tell me
    I would have to leave.
    Maybe I should have stayed and staged a revolution
    but I was very young and even more embarrassed
    so I went next door to the Women's Exchange
    where men are welcome to sit and eat,
    and choked down grilled cheddar, bacon, tomato,
    humiliation and rage.


    The bar won't let me watch TV
    because of my anatomy,
    or perhaps because
    my lack of it,
    the Country Club
    says that I can't sit
    in the bar
    and drink without a penis.
    Hell of a dress code,
    not like a jacket,
    can't even borrow one
    from the coat and hat check.
    Suppose I carried one
    in my purse
    or went to the doctor
    and got a reverse?
    Powerful little lump of flesh
    with a silly little name,
    Freud says that I envy you
    because we're not the same.
    It's not the Thing
    I envy at all.
    It's the Power and Privilege,
    the Wherewithal
    to have and do and
    sit where I please.
    I am not here
    to provide you with ease,
    or disrupt your leisure
    in any way,
    though it would give me
    pleasure to sit, smile,
    and say, "I'll have a Dewer's
    on the rocks with a twist
    and a side order of minced testicles."
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