Catcalling

Catcalling

their catcalling
gave 
such a simple
pure
direct
easy
pleasure
of knowing
she was desired
that she returned
to the streets
of the working men's districts
every day
in a different dress
to accept
their animalistic
whistles
barks 
and calls

sometimes
out of respect
for their attention
she'd take
one of those rugged men
of the factories
construction sites
or docks
inside
somewhere
to give him
a taste
of what he wanted
as recompense
for the attention
he and the rest
always gave

it was her payment
to those men
giving her life
more
than the drudgery
of her stupid
job
it was compensation
for making her
feel
special
wanted
and desired

it was her way
of paying
for not being
anonymous

she imagined
she knew something
about love
from the books
and movies
she'd seen
as a girl

over time
she imagined
it was something
fuller
than the feeling
of warmth
the giddiness
from the attention
from all those men's
whistles and
calls of 
"toots"
and
"honey gams"

she felt
there must be more
never realizing
the benefit
of a true romance
is a very different pleasure
than the giddiness
from the attention
of all those men
and their catcalling

a different
less visceral sensation
from love
derived
from contemplation
and commitment to
what a contemplated love
might be

lacking
any will
to contemplate
and lacking
commitment to anything
but her own gratification
she hung around
the warehouses
docks
and machine shops
getting old
and as the factories
shut down
along with her youth
as the laborers
and their catcalls
came
less and less
leaving her 
more and more
alone
with a yearning
for love
she'd never
taken the time
to try
to understand

the attention
having faded
along with her looks
she realized
a similar feeling
to be hand
in a commitment
to supporting
wars and soldiers
a warm
comforting
easy feeling
when she stood
for the flag
a warm
comforting
soothing feeling
affirming her goodness
for respecting
her country
and all the boys
sacrificing
for her freedom

and the same feeling
at the pronouncements
of the goodness
of God
knowing how
the hymns
and sermons
made her feel
knowing how it felt
but never
understanding a thing
about what
love 
or any of the rest
required
or meant

she understood
sensations
easy and direct
but never
a more refined
feeling
for men
god
or country
that accompanies
any careful
consideration
of what love
is
beyond her commitment
to chasing
its
forever
fleeting
flighty
sensations

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