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why I don't write poems
whenever I try to capture
the sweetness of a girl's knee in sheer stockings
the giddy feeling you get on a Saturday
the deep indigo glisten of my brother's Diesel jacket

I mean, these are things so beautiful and strange
that they collapse
under the weight of my words
and all I'm left with is a poem

as she crossed the street
she realized Eric was a waste
and left him for a girl

i was watching the slope of her back as she slept.
with the caramel light of New York midnight
flooding in the window,
listening to some song on hannah's radio
by the indigo
girls spread sleeping on flannel sheets,
hannah on her bed, we were on the floor, i
was watching the slope of her back.
and the question on my mind was,
would she hate me in the morning?

Acid Torches of Doom

"All right, all right. Gimme someone
good to play."

"Be Eiji. He can throw Acid Torches of

Somehow, my brother James has
convinced me to play it. It is the latest:
Thousands of hours of hundreds of dollars
of kilobytes of RAM invested in making
you feel like you're kicking some guy's ass.
So mindlessly violent. So typically male.
Ah, rejoice for being the mature sex!

"I wanna be a girl! Aren't there any

This is a trend in video games and
clearly part of a subversive government
effort aimed at the self-image of young
girls. If Woman cannot fight, she can't
fight back.

"Be Mondo, then. His special move is a
flaming karate somersault backbreaker."

"There are never any girls. Okay, one.
Two, tops. But they always suck."

"Fine, you little zealot. Be Ellis. I'm
Rungo. Prepare to die."

So the match beginsm and James'
character is a poster boy for anabolic
steroids. He has a granite club the size of
several Buicks and an aircraft base. I am a
twelve-year-old girl wielding toothpicks. I
wonder how this happened.

Soon I am familiar with our special
moves, his where he swings his boulder-on-a-
stick and levels anything in his path, and
mine where I jump in the air and sparkle a
lot. I learn to use Ellis' strengths and
formulate a trademark attack sequence. It is
somewhat free-form and involves pressing a lot of
buttons without knowing what the buttons do.
Channelling my speed and agility, I nimbly dart around
the oafish Rungo, applying a slice here, a jab there.
He flattens me with his two-ton rock.

(Author's note: This is a story. It is only a story.
Had this been real life, I would have beaten him.)

"Come on, I thought you'd be good at this!" As if
society hasn't taught me from a tender age that I
am inadequate at all forms of aggression.

"It's not my fault the only girl uses cocktail forks!!
Tell me someone good to be this time. It had
better be a girl."

So now I am Sophia, the second of two females, which
is like, how unfair, considering there are eight males.
Sofia has a whip and leather knee-high boots.
Her costume is two strategically placed shoelaces.
I want to throw up.

I notice Sofia makes orgasmic noises whenever she
is hit. I have no opportunity to hear her attack.
Round two end fast.

"Look, do you want to play Eiji or do you want to
lose again?"

"This is chauvinist propaganda, and I can't take it."

"It's not the programmers' fault you can't play!"

"Another victory for male supremacy. The System wins
again. I give up. Why don't I just go inhale some

"Do you want to play Eiji? Eiji has red sneakers." My
brother is baiting me.

"He'll get a painless death when the revolution comes."

"He has spiky hair. You know, that kind of Animae
hair that sticks up really far?"

"So maybe I'll keep him as a pet."

"He has a samurai sword. And red sneakers."

So now I am Eiji, and almost winning. He's not
so bad, I guess. It's not his fault he's stuck
with a Y chromosome. Besides, he can throw Acid
Torches of Doom.

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