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A poem by Danielle Melnick.

“Girl, wash your face!” says the bubbly Christian self-help guru with shiny hair gleaming like copper. “You are a badass!” pens the Brooklyn-based author who name-calls the Western Ego to humanize and breakdown America’s widespread depression. Their neon names dry my words to a mere creakas I gasp for the stale bottled water in my car, quenching my parched rights of  womynhood. Punch-in again into my lukewarm job guised under glass ceilings, worshipping self-help podcasts. Persnickety old feminists praise Hillary but whisper garbage in my ear to eclipse my success like the moon.

A child of mellow baby boomers, I was raised on Capri Sun, cherry nail polish, and Goodnight Moon. As my mom scraped bowls of brownie batter clean, I burned ants and smashed unidentifiable copper insects into the potholes of our concrete driveway. Lip Smackers and panty hose made me persnickety; hindering my self-becoming. Childhood’s glittery mermaids and turquoise taffeta aside, I humanize the socially-christened vagina that claimed me female since exiting the womb. As kids we drank punch and played leap frog with sticky popsicle faces, but the boys aged louder and made us girls a dainty creak.

My raspy throat aches from servicing his manhood. My turn, his warm tongue strokes make my bed creak and ecstatic cries escape my swollen lips. One swipe right turned into an orgasmic cry under the moon. Dating millennial men with projected insecurities, quarter-life crises, and misogynistic beliefs punch me in the vagina. Every. Single. Time.The only incentive Tinder dates offer are mediocre sex and copper mugs filled to the brim with vodka-laden Moscow Mules. We drink and swap traumas to humanize our filtered, pixilated smiles. Smizing my crampy eyes, my resting bitch face often reads as persnickety.

Buzzy, contoured activists sell candied justice; I question feminism, becoming a paranoid and persnickety commentator of empty feminism, spoiled mental health, and the strange creak my car makes (mansplained as a need for an oil change). My honesty is not in poor-taste; I humanize the multidimensional funk and fascism orchestrated by entitled, horny white men who moon over teen girls, fetishize womyn of color, and boast of their semen-crusted bed sheets. My muse; copper pennies, silver coins, and crumpled bills that define success as manpower: the ultimate phallic punch.

Laced with cummy poison and spiced misogyny, the O’l Boys Club thrives off my fear of red solo punch and cautious 2AM bobs and weaves between streetlamps as I walk home alone. Even worse, persnickety feminists masked as intersectional are more toxic than the O’l Boys; like a venomous copper snake, they lay among dead leaves unnoticed and ambush when least expected. The truth is a creak of suspicion that rusts over the tin-womyn’s fake feminist façades. Unlike the moon whose glow relies on the sun, collective empowerment radiates from self-made efforts to humanize.

Like morning eggs that spit and hiss in a frying pan, my manic mind scolds itself after trying to humanize another one-night stand. I press play on a “You Go Girl!” podcast while washing my tear-stained, punch-drunk face. I retreat to fortune cookies and penny-picking, hoping the mysticism of the moon soothes my anxious-attachment-styled heart. Feminism no longer empowers me. I sound persnickety, but I am simply sleezy hetero-patriarchal capital; I acquiesced my voice, drowning into a whispered creak folded into sexy feminist t-shirts made from enslaved children using sewing machines of rusted copper.


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