WOMAN wants monogamy;
Man delights in novelty.
Love is woman’s moon and sun;
Man has other forms of fun.
Woman lives but in her lord;
Count to ten, and man is bored.
With this the gist and sum of it,
What earthly good can come of it?

From Enough Rope (Boni & Liveright, 1926) by Dorothy Parker. This poem is in the public domain.

The story is that there is so much loss,

so much waste in a woman who does not make

a body with her body. Such sunk potential

in a sex that does not produce.

The story is that we have progressed.

The story is that the black woman is safe.

The story is that the black woman is safe

if she protects her king.

The king is dead.

Copyright © 2021 by Maya Marshall. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 22, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.