NUDE DESCENDING A STAIRCASE
Toe upon toe, a snowing flesh,
A gold of lemon, root and rind,
She sifts in sunlight down the stairs
With nothing on. Nor on her mind.
We spy beneath the banister
A constant thresh of thigh on thigh—
Her lips imprint the swinging air
That parts to let her parts go by.
One woman waterfall, she wears
Her slow descent like a long cape
And pausing, on the final stair,
Collects her motions into shape.
— X. J. Kennedy
One is not born a woman,
one becomes one.
~ Simone de Beauvoir