If I were a woman. If I were a wanted woman. If I were a woman with soft fingers. If I were on a beach with a man—if he was a man, if a man can be a man before he acts like a man. If I were on a beach with a man and he held my hand. If I liked my hand being held, even if it was held at the wrong angle. If my wrist was wringing in pain but I kept it there. If my heart were held wrong, like my hand. If I kept it there. If I was kept. If I was kept in pain. If I were pain. If I were a woman—if I were a woman before I was a woman. If I were a woman who knew her body like a woman knows her body. If a woman knew. If I knew. If I were on a beach with that man—if, this time, that man dissolved into sand. If the sand became hot under my feet but my feet were gold. If a woman were made of sun. If I were made of sun. If I burned the world around me until it shone beautiful and brown. If this burning was called healing. If the healing made light.
Copyright © 2021 by Ashley M. Jones. From REPARATIONS NOW! (Hub City Press, 2021). Used with permission of the author.