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Women Talk
Joy Barrios
 
After EDSA
 
 
  Here's to the friendship
that could have been ours:
wife of my lover,
love of my husband,
love of my lover.

For women at both ends 
are always rivals:
smiling for points
at a beauty contest,
icing the cake 
at a cooking competition,
sprinting for the gold
as they race to the man's heart.

Do we dare 
look at each other differently?
Are you not the yardstick 
by which he measures my beauty?
Am not the spice 
by which he thinks you bland or salty?
Are we not strings tripping each other
at the finish line?

Look beyond the competition or the race.
Our lives are not entwined
only by this man 
but bound 
by rituals of womanhood:
first blood of puberty,
blood and hymens breaking,
blood at childbirth.

There is much to share 
other than jealousy, anger, rage.
Talk to my sister;
wife of my lover,
lover of my husband,
lover of my lover,
still, my sister.
      --1988 

     
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