by Yael Unterman


When the oh so cool men and women engage on the stage

where all the world’s players gather, no prayers, father,

this is not a spiritual space, this is words out of place,

we’ll go round and round till we drown in the sound of

our chatting and nattering and patting of hair,

of opinions that pinion us each in a private despair

instead of getting into another’s world, soul unfurled,

pull apart the strands of complexity and perplexity to

uncover the bridge of sighs, just look into my eyes.

Do you see me? Do you see me in my beauty?


Why does biology, chemistry, electricity so often turn out to

be duplicity, the physics of it all

bring about an inevitable fall of misreading, misleading,

heart’s a-bleeding, I’m sorry baby, I didn’t mean to turn you on…


Girls, come and see if you can learn to do the can-can,

otherwise you’ll get the can, no man’s land, understand?

But the alternative, the other narrative, is

don’t think, there’s the sink,

wash the dishes, cook the beans,

primp and preen, smile nice,

sweet girl, shut up and make the rice.


Well! When misogyny meets homogeny in

traditional spheres, girlfriend,  you’ve no right to shed tears,

you chose for you - and your future progeny,

hopefully, to be - in that queasy space,

stuck between the Rock of Ages and a hard, unholy place of modernity,

so you’re hard to place, you keep your smilin’ face,

but inside you’re a mess, miss, a mass of confusions and contusions,

your lungs choking for air and covered in protrusions and adhesions that

make you treif, unfit for consumption, scarred and chafed;

no one will dare eat you, or meet you on your own ground,

no one dares contain the pain of a brain and soul that’s

a yawning black hole of churning yearning longing for

belonging to just that one other, what they call a lover,

to curl up serene like a babe on its mother’s breast,

you’re in such unrest that you’ve learned to say by heck you’ll

give it all up for a little sup of that sweet nectar,

even move to a sector that’s not your own, a dis-comfort zone,

where people flee right or left and leave you, in the middle,  bereft,

and all for that bone that’s thrown to you, those small crumbs,

a thumbs up and a place to call home, to stop your weary roam and just settle with

your head on a shoulder, and grow older together, all storms weathered,

birds of a feather,

separated never.


Look at me in my blemishes and beauty,

Deeply listen, and not just out of duty,

Open your eyes, internalize that I’m the freakin’ booty.