An excerpt from

True Romance with a Sailor
by Yeshim Ternar

She eyed my hips for child-bearing capacity. She eyed my shoulders for burden-bearing capacity. Were my arms strong enough to bring home bags of groceries and bottles of wine all on my own? Were my hands strong enough to knead dough for pastries for a boatfull of sailors? Were my legs strong enough to go up and down a ship's ramp even if the sea were choppy? Could I throw my weight around well? There would be days when I'd have to block the door with my body so that my sailor would not go out into the street drunk to make a fool of himself. There would be days when I'd have to pick him off the floor. There would be many days when that same body would have to be strong enough to subdue pent-up passion and fierce male desire, which had grown forgetful that a woman also needs, although by different signs.

She eyed all of me. My hair, my lips, my ears, my eyes, all the outward parts a woman needs to attract a man and keep him hooked with her charms and her cleverness; her ability to process and produce bits of information and gossip. One thing she couldn't see was my heart, how it was the most mobile organ I owned although it was imbedded deeply in my chest, at the center of my strong and able body.