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Dec 2023
I am a woman– forced to say it like a curse
Because the moment we are discovered
Evil eyes of all sorts gaze upon us,
Questioning and curious.
        “Is her skin like porcelain?”
They refer to us as pithos, jars
Containers of the worst combinations
Of what Pandora released
Transporters of life and miasma
The toxic pollutant that comes
With giving and taking life.
        “Her virtue above all else– is she pure?”
We are *parthenos,
with our coveted virginity
But once we are women we are spoiled
Once a jar has been opened and shattered
It can never become pristine and new again
Only lay in wait to crumble and expire.
        “Her hair, is it soft like satin?”
They who clamber out from our wombs,
Refer to us as stains of shame and burden
They call us impure and unclean when we bleed
A pollutant when we birth new life
Yet they are praised when they forsake ours.
        “Do her eyes shine like gems?”
We are like treasure, like silk and gold
When we are not yet broken, we are something desired
They say we are like pearls and gems; silk and gold
But these comparisons are not compliments– they are currencies
The closest they can get to shelving us, marketed to be sold
        “Is she beautiful?”
Be lovely like Aphrodite with unparalleled beauty
Be chaste as Athena and Artemis, a monarch like Hestia and Hera
Be obedient or become like Pandora and bring us to ruin
We are told to be and not be pieces of so many others,
That we can’t remember how to simply be ourselves.
        “Become unbreakable.”

Part of a three part series.
Written by
Pyrrha  22/F/Texas
     Eunyeong and Mike Adam
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