Thursday, March 17, 2016

In God's Own Image: A New Poem By Stephanie Mesler

In God's Own Image

By Stephanie Mesler


Sometimes I watch him sleeping
beside me in a bed from which he
has taken all the covers.
I steal them back when he wakes up to pee.
Listening through the bathroom door
to the bursting dam,
I silently cry to his male god, WHY?
Why did You make man
in the image of one who
forgets to put the seat down?
Sure, it made sense to put the
peeing parts on the outside
for easy access and proper hygiene,
not to mention the ease with which a man
can be rendered unable to procreate,
his penis being right out there in front
where the doctor can snip (or burn)
without even administering a general.
So maybe the real question is why did You not
make woman in Your image too?
Why gift us with gentle beauty
(some of us anyway)
and playful wit (some of us anyway)
and the dubious gift for making more humans
just like the ones You made in the garden --
and cursed --
all great gifts, don’t get me wrong.
But, seriously, why give us all that great stuff
only to saddle us down with peeing parts
that make us inconvenient companions for road trips?
No practical man wants to take us to the Astrodome,
not that we want to go there (damn few of us, anyway).
And, then on top of the peeing, there’s the bleeding.
Tell me, God, what were You thinking
the day you came up with woman’s reproductive parts?
It’s not so much that babies --
and blood --
and pee --
all come from pretty much the same general region;
it’s that the important parts are all on the inside,
hidden by something that looks like a hairy, puffy taco
(unless we shave, and I sincerely wish we wouldn’t, but that is another poem).
What made You think of Woman and decide
let’s make this baby-making business as inconvenient as possible?
Let’s make it so she’ll spend decades of her absurdly short life span pregnant --
or nursing--
or both.
And let’s make it painful,
really painful.
Let’s make her give birth by passing a 10-pound bowling ball through her vagina.
She’ll pay for being born female every time she gives birth.
But she will pay more for not giving birth;
Let’s make that painful too.
Cramps, and headaches, cravings and bloating.
Make sure she suffers from all of those when she is not pregnant.
Make her suffer.
And let’s make it messy.
No, not just messy,
let’s make it truly disgusting NOT to be pregnant --
or nursing --
or both.
And then, just to drive the point home, let’s give her monthly mood swings.
Yes, mood swings!
Just the thing to make her trade in monthly agony for a lifetime commitment to
children.
And let’s make her really LOVE children,
no matter what sort of little bastards they are.
And not just her own children,
Make her gaga faced over every baby she meets,
so she’ll actually want to make babies of her own.
Yeah, God, why’d You decide to pick on Eve?
She who had enough sense to eat when she was hungry,
enough brainpower to know that the only good gate is an open gate --
She should be venerated and credited with the salvation of her species.
Why’d You want her to suffer for her wisdom?
What kind of misogynistic shit is that, God? Huh?
Was it Adam? Did that mealy-mouthed little coward come whining to You
when Eve was more interested in serpentine smarts than his genital-less self.
Did You do what men always do, take his side?
Was it bros befo hos, God? Was it dicks befo chicks?
I lie in bed listening to the man I love.
I hear him fart so loud it wakes the dog, sleeping at my feet.
I pray he won’t open the door, not until the vapors dissipate.
But he doesn’t smell his own wind and he’s not really awake,
so he opens the door and stumbles back to bed,
and I throw the blanket over my face,
and the dog’s, a gas mask.
And then my lover snores.
The dog and I give it up.
The day begins with the sudden realization that it was not Eve that gave You pause.
It was Adam; he came first.
You looked at him and knew You had to build a better human.

In God's Own Image is © 2016 Stephanie Mesler