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To Make a Woman into a Monster
First you must strip her
of a nonessential body part.
You could replace this
with something symbolic and sinister
or else leave her
bare, bald, and alone.
Next you must give her a power
nobody would ever want
to wield over anyone.
You should make it passive;
she doesn’t do it to others,
they do it to themselves
just because she is there.
Of course you must make her ugly
from birth or as a consequence
for some minor atrocity.
Also, it helps to make other women envy her
despite her obvious monstrosity.
Lastly make her death heroic,
a triumph in someone else’s story.
That way when we think of her later,
it is only in passing
when we talk about him.
We will probably have to apologize for this later
‘Let’s make sure we don’t do anything
to provoke wrong action’
we thought it was pretty inventive
the way you used the royal we there.
It was like we stepped right into it
like we knew where we were going
and went there, didn’t we?
You wanted to talk about ‘what guys shouldn’t do’
so you set the example then later
you said sorry.
We knew you knew you were wrong
And we both knew you probably deserved
more than the suspension.
‘But at the same time’
when you said you didn’t mean it
we thought you meant it.
It could have been the way you said ‘egregious’
or how the tie you were wearing was really just asking for it
who knows what you could have done
‘to prevent the situation from happening’
maybe you could have been born a woman
or seen a man once beat your sister
or maybe it would have always been impossible
to make this violence your problem
and not just our own.
Rebekah Bergman writes short stories and poetry. Her recent work has appeared in Necessary Fiction and Literary Orphans, among others. A chapbook of her prose poems is forthcoming from White Knuckle Press. Rebekah is an MFA candidate at The New School.