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"Escaping a Male's Gaze"

by Clairesse Schweig 

“Let me wilt,” said the rose. 

“I’ve had quite enough of the burning,

beaming sun’s rays on my petals

during midday’s pursuit. 

Abrasive it is to my stem, 

color and livelihood. 

While babies laugh at its joyous warmth,

I am a woman wailing. 

I long to rest my sun-washed, 

magenta petals against the feathered pillow’s comfort, 

that cascades come nightfall.

I dream of midnight and stardust and the soft, 

sweet release of moonlight. 

It does not bleach or bombard. 

It kisses and calms.

In darkness I stretch my steam 

like a cat arching in the afternoon light.

I am lazy and cozy. 

Safe and uninhibited.”

Clairesse Schweig is an Editor-in-Chief of Birdie Zine.

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