Saturday, May 31, 2008

For women only

For women only

perfume,
rubbing shoulders,
we rattle silently over the tracks
blouses, tucked bags, even powdered chins,
up too close to really see;
we sense only relief
we smell no greasy beards or sweaty suits or
beer breath of the morning after _
this morning commuter train
"josei senyo sha"
reserved
for women only,
introduced to protect the gentle sex
from those groping dark hands
preying prying fingers, stroking thigh,
poking panties,
pretending to be penises
right in public transport,
"josei senyo sha"
this is the kindness of Japanese society:
let chikan go unchecked,
forgiven for their mischief,
and give us, women, this special spot
farthest from the action
farthest from the ticket gates
the first car up front,
and the most dangerous
if we crash

2 comments:

Roxana said...

this is so sad and so true. but how many japanese women would identify with this way of expressing their feelings, I wonder...

YURI KAGEYAMA said...

Thanks for leaving your comment. I wonder, too, yet I sometimes think it doesn't matter because we have to keep on, no matter. We really can't hope to speak for everyone, even a whole category of people, eg., Japanese women. Or anybody else. But we can try to be honest to what we feel and hope for the best.