To the Little Girls Behind my Cushioned Chair

When I was 7 years old

My mind was consumed

With visions of angels

The soft glow of the sun

The splashing of water

And my father chasing me through our backyard

Catching me with a mock roar and a swoop of his arms

My only worry was getting home

As soon as I heard my mother’s whistle calling me home at dusk

 

When I was 9 years old

I began to notice how men stared at women

And my fascination grew

As those same woman would coo

And beckon with a crook of their manicured fingers

 

When I was 10

I began to recognize the signs of lust

In the eyes of older boys in the marketplace

My mother whispering harshly to pull down my shorts

And my arms crossing over my breasts

Undescribed shame

Flooding my cheeks with crimson embarrassment

 

When I was 12

My mother told me to change my outfit

Telling me my body had developed

And I should hide under ill-fitting clothes

To keep the thoughts of young men pure

To keep them from temptation

She told me woman have a great responsibility

It was a “gift and privilege” from God

I remember thinking God could go to hell

And I didn’t want His fucking gift.

 

When I was 14

I began to see my body as power

If i was given a gift, I was going to use it as I damn well pleased

I began to explore the images of people committing “ungodly” acts

And I would envision the exotiic dance of bodies

Moving to a beat I have never heard

But longed to know

An unquenchable and all-consuming thirst taking over my body

Pooling down to the space in between my thighs

At night I would touch myself beneath the sheets

Experiencing a pleasure I didn’t know existed on this Earth

And by morning I would be begging forgiveness

For the dirtiness still coating my fingertips

 

When I turned 15

I began to despise my body

I wished for slimmer thighs

A tighter waist

And the approval of my mother

At her encouragement, I ate less and less

And hated myself more and more

I wanted the perfected smile

The gaunt cheeks

Prominent collar bones and rib cage

And the doe eyes I knew no amount of starving would give ,me

My asian heritage all too evident and resented

 

When I turned 16

The purity I had been told to crave and protect

No longer seemed important

The burning between my legs was no longer satisfied by my own fingers

My desire begged to be fed

By the hands of another

But the hands i chose were far crueller and less skilled than my own

And they beat and bruised and cut and left gaping wounds in my soul

I was left to pick up the pieces of my broken spirit

The innocent girl being chased by her doting father

With her bright perspective

Glowing, almond eyes

And unwavering trust and happiness

Drowned under waves of shame

Guilt

Illness

Insecurity

And regret

 

When I was 17

I entertained the idea of death

In a cushioned sitting room in my mind

We drank tea and gazed at each other for several months

His eyes weren’t scary and black and tormented like most may think

In fact, they were warm  and comforting and all too tempting

I still had a fear of the darkness of no longer existing, of my soul drifting from my body

ButI still had a faint hope

HIdden in the tiniest, deepest crevices of my soul that things would get better

And so I eventually escorted him out

Before he left, he gave me his card to call if I ever changed my mind

 

I am 18 now

A young woman with so much in front of me

I see my dreams resurrecting from the ashes of my mistakes

And the hope in my soul has grown brighter and brighter

Until it has become an all-consuming light

 

To the little girls sitting on the floor behind my cushioned chair

Giggling behind your hands and people-watching

Don’t let the world steal your light

Or tell you that you are not enough

Keep that love and fascination with life

Keep the love that you have for yourself

And burn anyone who tries to take that from you

This poem is about: 
Me

Comments

kaybird99

My God. Thank you for writing this. My experience is very similar to yours I think and reading this brought me some perspective so, thank you very much.

 

Mlljsievers

Love it!

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