Left and Felt: Three Abnormal Women?

lights SF

In this silent night the ripples of the lake
come and go like sisters Left and Felt
who intermingle in our ephemeral lives
where all seas and mountains finally meet,
where tomorrow’s already today’s yesterday
of three women I encountered in their journey.

The first, Laura, began to speak of Left and Felt:
Two concise words dressed in the same letters,
only their arrangement changes the meanings.
However, they are so closely related.
One came after the other like two sisters:
The one born first and the one that followed.
Or are they twin sisters born at the same time?

In my case Left appeared one day in early life, sad,
because of what it meant. If someone or something
suddenly leaves, you’re thrown into profound emptiness,
even though such a thing might appear contradictory.
Since emptiness means nothing, how could it possibly be profound?
Yet emptiness greated me because of Left
so the immediate consequence was sister Felt
for I was sad and felt loneliness.
Left brought my husband’s death.

No, Laura says, I do not miss the sex life we had.
I always wanted to control him, afraid of pregnancy.
But when I finally had my two daughters
and my womb was later removed for medical reasons
I had no more to fear so I let loose, but still…
I am fine now. Really.
I do not miss sex.
For men that’s more important.
And I am fond of reading, yes,
my book’s about psychology:
Rafael Andreu’s L’art de no amargar-se la vida.
In English, the art of not bittering life.

Selina, the second woman,
tells a different story even though
it bears a few similarities:

My first love must have been gay
but I didn’t know then.
We only kissed and held hands.
My second love was much older than me
ten years’difference.
An introvert, intelligent,
with a great sense of humor,
read books but he felt
too much responsible for me.
He was afraid to penetrate me.
There was no future as a couple
only as what we are now:
Good friends that see each other
from time to time.

After breaking up I had
several one-night stands
unable to reach orgasm
too afraid of pregnancy
despite any protection,
always wanting to control
whatever those men could do.

Two years later I went to a dance event and met my husband:
intelligent, sensitive, introvert, good person and well read.
Love at first sight for both of us, a bolt of lightning.
But again I always needed to control him
and my fear of pregnancy
became even worse.
Little by little
our sex life
faded a-

That is where we are now and I ask myself:
Should I continue this relationship?
But if we’re both happier with that
rather than parting from each other:
Should we not continue this way?

Wanted to know how other women thought
about sex with men and so I read Siri Hustvedt’s
A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women.
Great read but I could not find what I needed.

I think what really happens to me is this:
I am afraid of animal nature and physical violence,
another couple of siblings in us, human animals.
And so when I sense a situation where people,
even myself, could act more animally than intellectually
I feel truly scared, as if I am losing control of life
and of every little thing that surrounds me.

The physical violence of October 1 in Catalonia
seems to have affected me more than other people.
I am scared of being beaten up by the Spanish police
or whatever security forces they would love to send us.
Yet I still take part in our peaceful rallies.
For the moment no violence at sight.

As for sex with men I have never been able
to enjoy it fully for fear of getting pregnant,
perhaps also for fear of men’s animal nature
that often leads to physical violence and harm.
So this is it, these are Left and Felt for me.

The third woman, Maria, writes me long emails:
I am terribly infatuated in this guy who will never
show the slightest interest for me again. Why so?
It was my introversion and uncontrollable panic
at the chance of getting closer to him, the mere thought
of shame or of risking rejection once made me lose
any possibility of a love relationship, even though
that man does not live far from me. Chance lost.

No, she tells me, he’s not polyamorous, me neither,
has a girlfriend now and I do not really think whether
I’d be afraid of getting pregnant while having sex,
I guess I’d use normal protection and would enjoy,
but, I first need to get him out of my mind and heart.
Completely. It will take me time but I am on my way.
The book I am reading now is about how to do it.
These are sisters Left and Felt for me.

And that is the end of how the two sisters have come
to dwell in three women’s lives, all of them afraid
of experiencing complete love with a man, with sex.
Left and Felt have filled their everyday universe.
Would you still say they are three abnormal women?


© February 2018 Marta Pombo Sallés


15 thoughts on “Left and Felt: Three Abnormal Women?

  1. not abnormal, common.
    I’d never date anyone who I think would have the inner strength to leave me. That says a lot about my fear of abandonment. I’m afraid of the male organ all together. I need to be in complete control with sex. Thank goodness I’m celibate right now. Also, being Black in the United States, I fear the police very much. I don’t fear being beaten, I fear being shot for some perceived infraction.
    good post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Yes, I can figure out your situation as a black woman in the U.S. The first time I traveled to San Francisco and the Bay Area to visit friends on vacation I was shocked by the many homeless where the black population is the poorest. Unfortunately we also have racism in Europe and poverty as well as increasing homelessness, but I have never seen so many people in need as in the Bay Area. America’s completely lax gun laws is also a shock to Europeans. The Trump administration makes it all worse, but within this negative context of oppression there is hope. I am sure things will change. Oppressed people do revolutions that start with movements like Women’s March, Black Lives Matter, etc. There is always hope. We, Catalans, are a stateless people oppressed by Spain’s government. But we have started a nonviolent resistance movement and, in the end, Catalonia will recover its lost freedom. Our movement finds inspiration in others like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. And let us see when trumpism loses power in your country. I want to see capitalism defeated everywhere on Earth because I believe it destroys human relationships at all levels, it fosters an oligarchy of abusers and a large majority of abused. You have all my support against any kind of human discrimination.


  2. Left and Felt are powerful, multi-meaning words, such good choices for this deep subject. I am tempted to appropriate them, and add the in-between words Lest and Fest, because as an acrostic poet and a puzzle-solver the use of the four words in a quadruple acrostic, with the word-change of one letter at a time, presents a tempting challenge. But a greater challenge will be to craft lines that show respect for what you have written, which is moving and revelatory of things hard for many of us to wrap our minds around. A tough challenge, but I intend to meet it within the week, and dedicate the blog post I pit it in to my new and inspirational friend, you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sure, my friend, do that and let me know. I feel so honored to be inspirational to you with my very humble writing in a third language which is what English is to me. Thank you again for your incredibly encouraging words!


      1. Here is an update of sorts. A friend of mine asked me this morning if I were working my day job or being an artist. This was my reply:. I’m always being an artist, Sandra, day off or no. It’s 7:05 and my artwork so far consists of the word LEFT written down the left side of the page. Before day is done the word FELT Wil be on the right, and in between those, LEST and FEST, and in between everything will be an acrostic poem, its pillars LEFT/LEST/FEST/FELT. There needs to be a young woman afraid of getting pregnant on the left, and a young woman afraid of being groped on the right. I’ve figured out a wordless visual for those: thought balloon containing a pregnant belly superimposed on the Left woman, and thought balloon of a male hand and forearm reaching to grope the Felt woman. This acrostic is inspired by a new poet friend of mine who wrote of Left and Felt, who kindly gave me the go-ahead on using her poem as a prompt. Her name is Marta, she lives in Barcelona, and though English is her third language, after Catalan and German, she speaks and writes it with confidence and panache. Crazy world, innit?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Gary, I love your idea. Please, let me know when you post this acrostic poem. Send me the link because I sometimes do not have the time to get to all the posts. You are a terrific poet!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s