Intangible Woman

in elegant halls of perfume
and byzantine mirrors,
she buys a cosmetic stick,

blended in the Far East
from unknown spices,
called Intangible Woman.

she dabs a little on her face
before an evening out
at the theatre or nightclub,

once applied, she has no fear
of taxi drivers
or men in hidden doorways,

she can walk across the city,
alone and confident,
no fist can bruise her now,

for she is without substance,
like air and rainbows,

lighter than shadows,
freer to dance,
the cosmetic’s trick

is not a lasting one,
it wears off
seventeen hours later,

when she materializes;
as her body stiffens,

she feels the pain of
giving birth,
swears it won’t ever

happen again.

Linda Marshall