Shelby Catalano


As a woman, I revel in undesire
Smearing lipstick off my face
Removing the sheen of politeness
And all my sense of grace

As a woman, I refute your fantasies
Donning sweatpants and crooked teeth
I’ll open my legs and take up space
Without worrying what’s underneath
As a woman, I’ll yell too loud at parties
And refuse to wear a bra
Crow’s feet scampering with laughter
As I cherish every flaw

Yet as a woman, the more I speak, the less I’m desired
Only meant to be cajoled
For women are things to be had
And objects to be controlled

Yet as a woman, beauty does not define worth
Nor what men’s advances implore
Whether overweight or underdressed
Don’t tell me to smile more

As a woman, I rebel with undesire
Banishing mansplains and forced botox
Next time you try to blame a woman
Get the fuck right off your soapbox

Shelby Catalano is an author of poetry and blog content, including her upcoming debut poetry collection From Hope to Heartbreak. When not writing, she’s found doing aerial arts or lurking in bookstores. You can follow her on Twitter @sherubicat and visit www.shelbycatalano.com for news and future releases.

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