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BellaOnline Literary Review
Hummingbird by Lisa Shea

Table of Contents



Beate Sigriddaughter

This then is the danger, when
the crushing heel of disdain
for women is so normal and
we live so awkwardly inured to it,
that we no longer even notice.

Indignant, I show a young woman
an ad for a cute nostalgic poster,
"Women Haters Club," printed
in a catalog designed to sell
primarily to women, and she
looks at me with large bewildered
eyes: What is your point?

I watch young women, proud,
intelligent, give in to condescending
flirtations. It works. It earns them
larger tips. I watch myself
simper and defer. It works. Yes.

Donīt get me started on pornography.
Where do we live that it is pleasant
here, and normal, for a man to look
at women who look vulnerable,
for sure, and preferably dim-witted
as well? It is a bad, bad dream

in which I stumble naked on
the high heels of obedience, my finger
at my mouth, tongue lolling, while
the steady acid of contempt
keeps dripping and corroding me
like rust.