Male Gaze

I looked for her borders, but couldn’t find any. She expanded into infinity. A multitude of contained possibilities. A river with dozens of forks that declared “Fuck Off” to perceived notions. The world couldn’t accept this. It forced dotted lines onto her exterior, and declared that sovereignty was a souvenir not to be sold. She grew angry. She was not vengeful by nature, despite what later biographers would claim, but she refused to be a tool in someone’s else’s limited understanding. She rebelled, and in the end threw the would-be cartographers of her character out. Including me. “What right do you have to write a poem about what was right and wrong for me?” I conceded her conceptions and congratulated her on courage. I had no right, and I knew she was right. She took my pen and snapped it. I became a poet of silence and waited to see what she would write for herself. She did not need my astrology to explain her constellations.

Wesley Bishop is a PhD student in American history at Purdue University where he studies the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, the US labor movement, and the history of social reform. His writings have appeared at Lehigh Valley Vanguard, Jacobin, The Socialist Worker, and Literary Orphans. He is a campus organizer with the Purdue Social Justice Coalition and lives in West Lafayette, Indiana with his partner Allison.

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