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March 9, 2015

For International Women’s Day: “What it Means to Touch Her.” {Poem}

Marilyn_Monroe_photo_pose_Seven_Year_Itch

What it Means to Touch Her

i.

I was teaching my freshman students about
the Jungian shadow and projection.
Someone asked for an example.
What I told the class was something I’d heard before
when I was learning this.
It made some sense to me.

“Marilyn Monroe,” I said.
So much burden of the
feminine
flung upon her by men,
women. She became full
overfull
with each dark
individual sexual need
that she be
so they wouldn’t have to.

 

ii.

Later, as often happens
with adjunct professors,
I was waitressing.
It was a 1950s-themed restaurant outside of Philadelphia
and a life-sized mannequin
of Marilyn Monroe in that famous white
legs spread
sweet surprise at being exposed
was poised in the window to attract passing traffic.

There was a blizzard
that afternoon.
No patrons.
The end of my shift.
I put down the pushbroom
and stood in front
of Marilyn Monroe.
I closed my eyes, placed
a hand still tacky
with other people’s fry grease and ketchup
on the back of her calf
and held her.

I did this for them
and for myself.
I did this to say
it’s all true
and ask her forgiveness.

 

Relephant:

Emma Watson’s Live Q & A Session on Feminism & Gender Equality.

Author: Rachel Astarte

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Wikipedia

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