Isn’t it enough I’ve fought against
it with ballet classes every day,
often more than one? Do I have
to tell you about the letter
from a woman who says, “Now
in the gym the men stop looking”?
Do I have to joke, “Pull the plug if
I can’t do ballet,” laugh when a
friend says, “I didn’t sleep with him
because I’d have to get undressed”?
Do I have to remember my mother
saying she’d rather be dead than
lose her teeth?
I think of the friend who
says she doesn’t worry about what
poem she’ll read but about what she
will wear. Another says she wants
plastic surgery but doesn’t think
it’s right for someone in the arts;
shouldn’t she care about loftier things?
I think of another woman who will
be photographed only in certain
positions. Do I have to tell you what
I’m thinking about isn’t death?