Change Your Taste by Nicole Goodwin

I find myself afraid of men these days.
The way they sweat and grunt a strange lot.
Nothing coming out of their mouths of tenderness.
Nothing soft in their hands anymore, as they reach for
My neck or my back or my ass.
No caress. Not gentleness. None.
I have been a friend to men most of my life and I have
Also been so deep in trenches that they forget I am a woman.
Well some do. Others expose themselves when willing to fuck,
And I am tired ya’ll.
Of hiding from men in my apartment. Somewheres in NYC.
Somewheres in Harlem. Somewheres where its quiet and I
Can fill my lungs with air and just…
WOOOOOOOOOOO. Because men have their ways.
Their ways to invade…
My daughter, my daughter I can see it in her eyes.
She fears men too. The way they speak these days
So rough and frightening, the way they need to stomp
While entering the room. You know these men—all too well.
And I’m not saying all, and I am not saying some I’m saying MEN.
Yes. I’m finally saying it that you have beaten the fear into my body,
Into my bones, into my soul and you know why I cannot lay with you again.
And we laugh and we joke, and I smile, and I am choking on these different sensations
And no, I don’t need your good dick as the cure. Or a hug, or you just trying to be nice.
Or maybe I do. I don’t know what I need. I don’t know what I’ll need to take away this pain! But
I am starting with the following. Admittance. Admitting not omitting yes.
Yes, I am these days I am afraid of men.

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