20 ways— 

A woman sits up straight: she’s on edge. She leans into the cushions: she’s
provocative. She leans over to another woman: she’s a gossip. She holds the
other woman’s hand: she’s queer. She holds an apple in her hand: she’s a
temptress. She slices the apple: she’s tame. She slices your heart out: she’s a
bitch. She wears a heart at her throat: she’s a beauty. She wears a silk tie at
her throat: she’s butch. She wears a silk camisole: she’s a slut. She’s slutty:
she’s a celebrity. She celebrates herself: she’s got nerve. She’s celibate:
she’s pathetic. She’s empathetic: she’s a sweet thing. She sweetens the deal:
she’s a honeypot. She hones her tongue: she’s a shrew. She’s shrewd: she’s
deadly. She’s dead: she’s innocent. She’s innocent: she’s a virgin. She’s a
virgin: she’s on edge.


First published in Poetry Northwest   Copyright © Beverly Burch


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