COLLEGE FEMINISMS: 2 Poems by Chenusa Yomoah – The Feminist Wire

COLLEGE FEMINISMS: 2 Poems by Chenusa Yomoah

“Ode to Eyeliner”

It would be so easy to forget vanity.

Parisians preen themselves in shop windows and

the Tokyo metro is a powder room, but

it would be so breezy to become an Elizabeth Cady Stanton,

an Octavia Butler,

it would be beautiful if the Myspace photo had never existed,

and if we’d never had to learn how not to stab our eyes with pencils.

If you, charcoal, midnight,

onyx, ebony, sable, jet, and


were not there to crumble and settle in pockets of handbags

or to need reapplication after every untimely tear,

who would remind us all that,


she was not born with it, and


it is Maybelline.

More importantly,

Sephora collection, waterproof, long-lasting, 12-hour wear, lash-enhancing eyeliner,

who, if not you, would remind us all that we are not Atalantas,

we are Nickis and Madonnas.


“This face right here”

Let me explain bitch face. Bitch face is what happens when you spend so much time on the trains being stared at, as a very conspicuous foreigner in Japan, that you learn to school your face so well that when you LOL at a text message all that moves are your eyebrows. Or it’s when you’ve watched so many hours of America’s Next Top Model that you’ve believed for years that you can smile with your eyes. Bitch face could also happen because you decided a long time ago you weren’t going to smile unless you really wanted to, but then adolescence ended and you remembered you were going to have to be a contributing member of society for the rest of your life, but at this point you only know how to do the obviously fake smile for photos and when some acquaintance nods at you, all you can manage is an odd twitch. People afflicted with bitch face, commonly known as bitches, are often pretty friendly people. But no bitch, young or old, man or woman, dog or queen, can control the face. And it is not their fault. But if we hear you, any of you, say “What a bitch,” again just because a woman did something you didn’t like, just because some woman spoke her mind or did what she was entitled to; if you call someone a bitch for something other than a facial affliction, you will receive a slap powered by the collective fury of a billion angry bitches. We are not having any more of that shit. We are taking “bitch” back.


self3Chenusa Yomoah is a Ghanaian currently studying art at Temple University, Japan Campus. She is woefully unprepared for the real world.