By Christine Joy G. Aban

Woman: Take the coat, what’s left behind?
Take the dress, what’s there inside?
Take my breast, can you still see
a girl’s inner beauty?

Man: Leave your coat, and your dress on.
Blind my eyes, in my mind will spawn
images and sounds, music and laughter,
lovely memories, friendly banter.

Woman: If vital parts of me are gone,
can I still be one?
If the core to be a woman is taken,
can I still be a woman again?

Man: That depends partly on where you stand.
In some cultures men do understand
that womanhood is a state of mind
and that selves should not by society be defined.

Woman: What does it take to be a lady?
What is a woman’s fragility?
What role a girl can achieve
so that respect she can fully achieve?

Man: I think one should not try to achieve
respect. In doing so, a woman’s senses take leave
of the beautiful things she has inside;
inside, where soul and real beauty do reside.