Spread your legs. She’s three. Her mother gives her a bath and dries her, parts the precious folds between her thighs and wipes them gently.

Spread your legs. She’s sixteen, curled uncomfortably in the backseat of a car with a boy she’s spent the last hour kissing. Sweat and urges mount as lips fail to quench.

Spread your legs. She’s twenty-five and screaming in the delivery room. The doctor shouts impatiently as she writhes in pain.

Spread your legs. She’s twelve and fresh. Someone pins her down, someone gags her screams, someone tears through her.

Spread your legs. She’s forty and fragile. With prayers she waits as the embryos are implanted. A cherub face darts in her mind as she shuts her eyes.

Spread your legs. Spread them wide. For you are cursed with this entitlement to pleasure, pain and imposed agony; cursed by history and biology, your heart and mind will always be secondary. You are born with skin, bones, hair and smiles and yet your destiny resides within that space between your thighs- a fleshy cavern, a wonderland, an abyss of elasticity.

So take it all and bloom.