an experience on a recent sailing trip reminded me that sexism is still very much alive.
Sailing to Raspberry Island
my father, my brother, the captain
and me, the pickled herring, preserved
like a can of squeal, the sound a child makes
when she jumps into cold water.
His curly white eyebrow hairs wink
as he tell me that all women winch that way
the way where their fingers are likely to get caught
in between, he doesn’t know why
I still don’t know why the sky is blue, like my fingers
as I pulled the rope too slowly, my flossed white teeth
ready to snap.
When do you accept what you don’t know
and when do you ask: If there’s a 90 percent chance of rain
do you let yourself get soggy? Like his leftover eggs
that I wouldn’t eat, like his paper towels that I had to throw away
because he didn’t finish cleaning up
because he missed the sound of his voice
If I wore polarized sunglasses
would the world be more beautiful?
If he stopped talking
would I be able to see?