Loose Woman

They say I’m a beast
And feast on it
When all along I thought that’s what a woman was

They say I’m a bitch
Or witch
I’ve claimed the same and never winced

They say I’m a macha, hell on wheels,
viva-la-vulva, fire and brimstone,
man-hating, devastating,
boogey-woman lesbian
Not necessarily, but I like the compliment

The mob arrives with stones and sticks
to maim and lame and do me in
All the same, when I open my mouth
they wobble like gin

Diamonds and pearls
tumble from my tongue
Or toads and serpents
Depending on the mood I’m in

I like the itch I provoke
The rustle of rumor
like crinoline

I am the woman of myth and bullshit
(True, I authored some of it)
I built my house of ill repute
Brick by brick
Labored, loved and mason-ed it

I live like so
Heart as sail, ballast, rudder, bow

Indulgent to excess
My sin and success—
I think of me to gluttony

By all accounts I am
a danger to society
I’m Pancha Villa

I break laws,
upset the natural order,
anguish the Pope and make fathers cry
I am beyond the jaw of law
I’m la desperada, most-wanted public enemy
My happy picture grinning from the wall

I strike terror among the men
I can’t be bothered what they think
Que se vayan a la ching chang chong!
For this, the cross, the Calvary
In other words, I’m anarchy

I’m an aim-well,
loose woman
Beware, honey

I’m Bitch Beast Macha
Ping! Ping! Ping!
I break things

Sandra Cisneros

One thought on “Loose Woman

  1. I’ve heard this read one time before but I can’t quiet remember where. Either way I love this poem. It’s fun, it’s strong, it doesn’t care what others think, it’s uncompromising, it’s just really really great.

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