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Poetry of Issue #8        Page 66

With women and children on the street...

He lifted his shirt
It was a sweaty day
He caught the breeze on his moist skin
      pot belly hairy nipples

No one gasped or pointed
No jaws hung
No one called him “topless”
No one said he was looking for trouble
No mutterings about getting some self-respect
No one violated his space or body
      then blamed him for their behavior

I fume with envy
Freedom envy
Freedom to not hide my flab and body hair
      and nipples in shame
Freedom to catch a breeze on a sweltering day
Y’know, all the things that make a woman a “slut”

  Mindy Matijasevic