A Proper Baptism for Galatea

with Layeh Bock (after Shaw’s “Pygmalion”)

Whether I am proud, stripped a common girl bullied by a housemaid, staring at me, exposed to the mirror, she covers it grabs me naked, the bloody tub hot and slimy, bristles, screaming— like nothing downstairs, what? —no use, no help, but this, they say is what it takes to make a lady— sold like white meat, sucked under, pushed down by these red arms, struggling to take my breath. I wonder.

18 January 1976