The Abstracted Woman

I’m not an abstract
That you can take out of its box
And place in a column
Total up and measure
Against some statistic
Of two a week
Or 134 a term
Or once in a lifetime
Or after the age of 30
I’m not an abstract
That you can tesselate
To make pictures
Of veils
Or makeup
Or underwires
Or bound feet
Of folds of skin
Like dunes from a desert
That you’ll never see in the flesh
I’m not an abstract
Sat in a cell
Or sat in a line
On a border
In a boat
On a floor
At a stove
Squatting and heaving
Doubled over
I am all and none
I am solid and hollowed out
I am breathing, but barely
I am laughing
And devastated
I am desperate
And god
So utterly bored
So fully fatigued
At my kitchen worktop
At my boardroom table
At my mud-dug well
At my birthing chair
At my parent-teacher conference
At the grocery store
On the floor
On the bed
Against the wall
I am abstracted
Distracted
I am

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