I am five years old. My mother just told me to go fetch a sweater because an adult man would be coming over soon, and I need to cover up.
I am seven years old. A boy wouldn’t stop chasing me on the playground and throwing rocks at me. I’m upset. My best friend says it’s because he likes me and she told me boys are mean to girls they like.
I am ten years old. We just had our first health class in school. The teachers were trying to educate us on sexual assault. After class, my friends told me to scream fire instead of rape if I’m ever being attacked, because no one will come if they hear the word rape being screamed.
I am twelve years old. I just got my first period. A pad fell out of my book bag at school and everyone started laughing. Apparently, periods aren’t normal and they should be hidden at all costs.
I am fifteen years old. I’m in the office crying because a boy I don’t know kept following me down the hallway and grabbing my ass even after I told him to stop. The administrator scolds me.
“maybe you shouldn’t be wearing leggings if you don’t want that kind of attention”
she sends me home with a dress code violation. She marked the “distracting” box.
I am seventeen years old. I’ve just been slapped because a boy got angry with me after I wouldn’t let him put his hands down my pants. Apparently, I led him on by letting him copy my math assignment.
I am twenty-one years old. My best friend has bought me special nail polish to wear to the bar. She says it changes color if it’s dipped in a drink that has a date rape drug in it.
I am twenty-three years old. I’m reading this to the first class I will ever teach. A student raises her hand and says, “no offense, but doesn’t this stuff happen to every girl?”
So yes, I am a feminist. And when you ask me why, I will read this to you. Again, and again, and again.
So all day there was no you. it didn’t hurt and i didn’t miss you and
i didn’t want to call.
but it’s late now, i guess, and it hurts now, i guess, to remember those nights where i knew it was just us. no one else. remember that?
but that changed when you picked her that changed when you kissed her that changed when you started giving her rides to school but i bet if i was drowning you wouldn’t lend me a hand like
are you glad you got out of the poems?
are you glad that’s not really you?
are you glad you’re so dedicated to something now?
like a priest and something holy
something to worship that’s not my body.
so it’s like i’m happy for you it’s just
i’m not. you’re still in my poems. i don’t think you ever left.
i lost my handle on the situation but I’ll never call you again– lily rain
She wants them to see the real her.
She wants the lilac sky and little books,
She wants to go far away from here.
She wants to escape.
Her mind is pearls and her face is the ocean.
He makes her blue.
She wishes everything were different.
She wishes she can forget everything.
Lord knows she tried.
Saying goodbye to him will always be the hardest goodbye.
But hey, it felt so true.
It felt like love.
Maybe it killed you to see that I could smile without you, that I could laugh with someone who wasn’t you. Maybe you finally realized that I could breathe and live, and that I didn’t need you after all.
Because at some point I got tired of chasing, chasing someone who was never going to come around. I was a fool, going back and forth playing your stupid, little game. The difference between you and I though, I tried to get through to your heart - I cared, I loved, and you didn’t. You could’ve let me in, you should’ve let me in, you needed to let me in.
But you made a decision, and your decision wasn’t me.
Don’t hype yourself up for love at first sight.
It won’t happen like that.
It will hit you during routine moments in life, like watching a movie or talking about places you’d like to visit.
She’ll begin to talk, and everything else will stop briefly.
You will look at her and think to yourself
“Dammit I don’t want to lose you.”
That’s when love starts happening.
to tell you a story.
a boy. He
sleeps on the other side
of this wall. He makes
a mean omelette.
You like it
you tell him as much.
You’ve never met him.
I say that
actually saw him
and not a boy with
a girl’s face,
and ‘meet’ sounds
for what happened.
‘meet’ sounds like
you didn’t split
bruising his jaw
when you did
actually see him.
as long as we’re breathing (we’re screaming) // bluestruckholly