Man paid once, giving up a rib,
to unwittingly bring forth
the eternal helpmate. Single-
minded and simple in his ways,
it would be left to her, meat
from the rib bone, to multiply
and nourish life from flesh.
Coming from the bone, woman
would be the one to tear herself
open, again and again and again.
First, to be the bed for the seed
and then to grow it, only to find
herself rooted to the fruit. The fruit
plucked early and torn from the vine.
Man, mended and whole, woman
always divided and dividing,
always trying to close the gap
between what is and what might be.
Man, being. Woman, doing. Done.
Should she dare not to rot, become
purposeful and one-pointed
become again bone instead of meat,
she will be called witch or bitch,
tied and burned and buried.
She will howl at the pale moon
and be called hard. She will be
called mysterious spinster, alone
in the house at the end of the street.