Please Don’t Squeeze Me ‘Til I’m Yours

So open-palmed: to peaches, to the swell
of a baby inside a woman’s belly
to the cheek of a woman we think
we know. So willing to share our grievances
about the length from hip to hem,
those lines up the back of the legs
being stockings, the heels over the heels
of a woman wobbling down the street
filled with bars. A sign at the market
proclaims from the fruit: don’t squeeze me
‘til I’m yours and our mouths water
even more, small boys pretend not to read
and touch the fuzz, giggling.
But the men have no excuse, you know.
The men have no excuse.

Elizabeth (Betsy) Aoki completed her MFA at the University of Washington. She has received grants/fellowships from the City of Seattle, Artist Trust Foundation, Jackstraw Writers Program and a Hedgebrook residency in 2014. She won the Nassau Review’s Writer Award for 2015, was a two-time finalist for the Comstock Review's Muriel Craft Bailey award, and a finalist in the recent Hunger Mountain’s Ruth Stone Poetry Prize. Her publications include the chapbook, Every Vanish Leaves Its Trace by Finishing Line press, inclusion in the Asian American female poets anthology Yellow as Turmeric, Fragrant as Cloves, and in journals such as Nassau Review, dislocate,, The Midway Journal, Phoebe, Poetry East, Seattle Review, Poetry Northwest, Calyx, Asian Pacific Journal, and the Hawai’i Pacific Review.