a man’s space
i used to try on my father’s clothes
his attire never seemed to fit me,
in his eyes anyway.
i felt the emptiness in his
envying how it compared to my shoes.
leather and sole,
tightening its hold as if it were
pinning my feet to the floor.
my father could grow so tall,
the roof would creak
as he leant his back against it.
i sucked in my stomach
but never protested.
how could i ask for more space
than what he had offered? it seemed
my larynx held wasted breath.
the first to be squashed.
the pockets of air in his shirt
became a cold comfort.
yet i wondered,
if i could stretch my skin
and blow up like a balloon,
could i fill a man’s space too?
i could take my mother’s hand,
tell her we need to leave.
father takes up too much room now.
growth has left little of me.
a pair of eyes
and a crooked tooth.
but my body still aches
to spread my arms
and fill my father’s clothes.
to occupy a space he didn’t
squeeze me into.
to stand beside not behind a man.
someday i will no longer cower
before the men who forced their way
inside my skull,
and scrubbed with soapy water.
maybe i will learn that air
is a grateful reminder of my place
when i feel constricted.
that my space extends to the clouds;
and even further.
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This is honestly so beautiful. I absolutely love the symbolism and your words completely captured me into your piece. You made my entire day!!
Thank you so much for the feedback! It really means a lot, this is the first poem I’ve ever written so I wasn’t sure if it even made sense!!