BEFORE THE WAR
I was a woman before the war –
we took the arms of our enemies
and swung them from our crotches.
And lived with them there
until, like ticks, they grew inward, and we
were the first men. But we didn’t want
these stolen limbs anymore, and so tried
by force to give them back, hoping
the fists would come alive inside
women and grab hold. But when we were done
the arms only hung dumbly
between our tired legs, shrinking in time –
a useless door handle, a hung shadow
we walk upon.