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everything girl

Little girlhood slipping

into the mangled mouth of summer: raw

as our blacktop-skinned knees,

toppling fearless against the ground over &

over as if gravity itself would learn to stop

wounding us. Hold us in the way we were

meant to be held. Girlhood, I

skinsearch. I am holding this body

like a clock ticking too slow. Like a question fished

out from between my legs. On the last train

back home, I girl-watch until every woman

is someone I want &

want to become, my hair tied up like an invitation

to touch me anywhere, but especially

on the bare & tender

nape of my neck. Even as a secret. Especially

as a secret. Oh, girlhood, I tried. I sunburnt until

it looked satin & practiced crying

like I meant it, carried two sprays

of perfume on my wrists nightly. Prickling heat

all over me. Even my vengeance

was all for you: teething my scalp

with a buzzcut. Slinging men’s ties around

my noosed & animal throat. Nothing more girl

than wanting to bypass your own skin,

to consume what is the same as you because

every girl that I have wanted

was once graceless, too & running

not away, but for the motion of it. Every girl

learns fear thinking she invented it.


Editor(s): Alisha B., Uzayer M., Luna Y.

Photo Credits: Unsplash


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