I Don’t Want to be a Woman


who shakes when she’s touched
in the dark, but this is a fact

of my body now, like
the face of tonight’s moon,

bloody and swelling
as our neighbors

pool in the street
and tilt their heads back

to see its rust-opal
glow. From our window

three stories up,
we watch their watching,

lights out in the apartment
to better illuminate

the scene below,
both of us following

the finger of the same
woman as she points

at the sky, your hand
not holding mine,

my sadness
an ordinary thing
between us.

Michelle S. Reed is the author of I Don't Need to Make a Pretty Thing (Black Lawrence Press). Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in Waxwing, Salt Hill, Flyway, The Account, and Third Coast, among others. Find her online at mreedwrites.com.