she said be a feminist, that’s what she told me to do. i told her my femininity was a pair of old crows tied to my appendages/i told her my mouth would flood rivers with fantasy/ i told her princessmermaid ariel was strapped to my head in a series of painfully acquired hair-extensions and i told her i was already woman-enough to know my womanhood. i wrapped this hood (little red’s or robin’s, or something on the spectrum between femininity and what you want me to be) around my face – i wrapped it (head covers, hijabs, nun-ification and all the other references aside) – i wrapped it close. i felt this rapture, the wrapping-paper still paper-mached to my mother’s fingertips. i felt all the paper, the plastic, the riptide lipstick lacquered onto my lungs (by now, I’m sure, like tar from cigarettes – doesn’t makeup stick to ribcages too?)
i made up my mind to matter. i willed my matter to mistake myself for a woman. i willed my womanhood to hold close to my own hood (childhood being at least one reason why). i went, hooded and clutching, hansel and greteling and groveling and ingratiating my way all the way to that hut in the woods (goldilocks was there, but baba yaga too). i told baba yaga of the words that keep wrapping around my head like a hood (is it a scarf, or a rapture). she told me courage was a monument; i was a firebird; love was a causation; the divine feminine was a lake. i told her i had lost the ability to interpret fairy tales (childhood being at least one reason why), (and that furthermore, they were encouraging me not to). she said to be a woman, that’s what she told me to do. i told her my femininity was a pair of old crows tied to my appendages.