‘But when does one become a woman?’ he asked. ‘And why do you not feel that you are there yet? You are in you thirties, and 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, Lo Liddell, (collage)