I had a crush on my economics teacher
I asked him to write me a university recommendation
He asked me, “are you a feminist?”
“I don’t know”, I replied. Cheeks red,
happy to talk to him, laughing as my friend calls a classmate feminazi
Walking home. My backpack, my trumpet
Too heavy for me to run as a man
masturbates, leisurely on his bike,
face covered by a helmet.
Next to me
engine running, riding, rubbing at my walking pace.
Cheeks red, my heart pales. I pretend not to see.
I could never tell my parents.
Until finally, I could.
An internship, a Linkedin profile.
I serve tea
I serve tea for three months
A woman tells me, there are jobs for men and there are jobs for women
“Who are you to be ungrateful for the opportunities you get?”
I take the train to the Australian consulate. I’m picking up my visa!
It’s far away, I’m using Google Maps.
A man in a suit takes
pictures of me.
His gaze is unashamed, scouring my body
Prematurely, I get off at the next stop,
I push myself into a crowd
he’s lost me.
I get on the next train, stand in the women’s only carriage.
I look behind my shoulder,
same man behind me, swaying to the same lurching on the same train.
My life feels like a video game.
Driving school. We learn CPR.
“Right, girls aren’t really getting it. Girls only. More rounds of practise”
One, Two, One, Two. We push away
on a plastic corpse.
Bend down, latch our mouths to the dummy’s and exhale
His face pressed to mine,
“let me watch you do it, let me help you learn.”
Clammy and sweaty, red-faced from CPR and his body heat next to mine
ANU. I see strong women.
I hear people talking
about things I only thought
I don’t blush anymore.
It feels good.
“Are you a feminist?”
I think I know the answer to that now.