Backhanded Apology


I am sorry I am woman
Sorry for the cicadas
that rose
from my chest. Animals

that hibernated for thirteen years
then ruined
your summer.
Sorry for each freckle

on my shoulder
chocolate chips dripped
into the batter.
Sorry the High School banned

tank tops
so you could concentrate
on your math.
Sorry I grow
like you

under my arms
up my calves.
Sorry that even in television commercials

for women’s razors
it’s always a bare, bronzed leg
being shaved.
Sorry I’m not

already all the way removed.
Sorry for the suffragettes
my rowdy sisters.

Sorry the dinner is delicious
but you’ll have to do the dishes.
Sorry for walking

down the street
wearing that
Sorry for the minutes
it took out of your workday

to gawk like that.
To say those things.
Sorry I didn’t say thank you.

I thought you were going to
kill me.
Sorry I keep my mail
front door
apartment key

between each of my fingers
when I walk.
A pincushion where the sharp sides

point out. Sorry I bled
on your couch.
Sorry I didn’t
tell you, flipped

the cushion upside-down.
Sorry I say sorry so much.

Sorry you got fired
for grabbing my ass
of course
it belonged to you
like the candy

on my desk.
Sorry for all the ridiculous laws
of gravity too.
I’m sure
my breasts

are very happy
to see you.
Sorry you liked breast milk so much.
Sorry I fed you in public

and let everyone know
you loved a woman then.
Sorry I was your first

home and didn’t leave
my body open
for you
to crawl
back in.

Sorry that the egg that made me
came from inside my mother

when she was inside her mother.
Sorry for all this forever.

Sorry you’re on the outside
of the joke. Sorry
I bled on your couch

and I didn’t turn over
the cushion
this time.

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