‘But when does one become a woman?’ he asked. ‘And why do you not feel that you are there yet? You have all the traits of womanhood, even though your breasts carry the essence of the indolent pre-teen.’ I pause, wondering what it is that will make me into a woman. For years I have managed to suspend my body in a false state of pubescence, without that monthly reminder to my own vulnerability. Now that I have relinquished this control, my body is left open to its own attack, where the egg will nestle waiting to be made fertile by the slender form of your touch. A thin membrane between pleasure and motherhood as we slip it off like a gossamer sleeve. Daughter, father, mother – my internal trajectory. In combat with the final stage for it spells of my death. A Nabakovian ‘coffin of feminine flesh’, My womb is a tomb. I realise my reticence, as I give birth to this idea.
Forever held in the sway of the first dance with my father, his photograph imprinted into my mind, as I smooth my fringe into a vestige of him. Lost in a fantasy of masculinity I left my mother behind. And now I am without place, displaced between daughter and father. Lingering near the edge of girldom, as I avert the open jaw of womanhood. Can I enter forth into masculinity? Or should I dwell longer at this precipice, and wait for the father I seek, in order to maintain this childish repose. And now, more than ever I wish to be encompassed within brutish paws, tickled and benignly caressed. I nearly broke down on the cusp of my dejection today, as I was swept away in this longing. Can I settle onto your knee as you whisper softly into my ear, can you feed this ache?
Image credit: Like a once tame beast, part one, 2013, Prefix-poly, (collage)