Rosalind on 2mg Estradiol a day

by Libby Russell

“Do you not know I am a woman?”(Act III, scene ii, As You Like It)

My lover and I no longer speak.
We leave notes in the mist
on one another’s eyes. Once,
he carried me through fields

of sheep when I began to doubt
that softness could be born.
My lover doesn’t see the surgeons
that dissect my dreams.

He spends mornings watching me
put myself back together again.

Once, my lover pinched my bicep
between finger and thumb, said
“What you’re doing is wilting yourself,
and I can’t understand why.”

He laces my corsets, all fingers and thumbs.
My lover watches me blind myself
on sunlight when I begin to doubt
that anybody else can see me.