I know all the things I should be –
strong and aesthetically perfect,
think about cleaning everything around
& keeping the entire length of my skin
juggle with pans and make-up brushes,
arrange and rearrange the dresses,
the high heels,
the crown & the dignity.
I know all the things I shouldn’t be –
complaining – ever,
shouting – ever,
or writing with CAPITAL FUCKING letters,
not to mention fucking SWEARING,
or signing my own life decisions,
or letting my anger go pass my fingernails.
I heard my voice cracking
so many times
& I couldn’t look there
now I know for sure:
there was LIGHT in the cracks
so bright some couldn’t stand
but cover it.
I know what I am –
I am allowed to be
I am allowed to cry,
I let vulnerability step upon my lips & cheeks
and that’s my make-up
I let words go through my fingers
& I write while burning the food
-delicacy & pain slowly merging
as long as I breathe.
And I am learning to breath
I can hear people counting my breaths.
A wonderful poem by an emerging poet Ioana Lungu, with the topic we have explored so many times on TAST – what a woman is expected to be doing, even in 2019, all the social bias, all the “dos” and the “donts”, and what is “the correct behaviour” and, as Ioana says – sometimes we can hear others count our breaths.