i’m not a kid anymore!"
she raises her right eyebrow in disapproval— the look.
i choke while her nails tap on the kitchen counter
begging to stay out on the street to ride my bike
turned into rushing back home before the streetlights turned on.
sometimes i wasn’t so lucky.”
clack. clack. clack. clack.
the feeling of being watched,
the feeling of being followed,
the feeling of being killed,
yet never knowing by who.
so i walked faster and faster back to safety
regardless of whether or not i was alone.
her eyebrows furrowed in fear.
remember when i’d come home from school,
and we’d giggle about crushes and who likes who?
that was seven years ago.”
the other day, my best friend was raped at school.
loss of innocence, but we were still ‘just kids.’
remember the drunken night when tío had too much to drink?
we couldn’t tell papi what he did.
that drunken night would’ve been the last.”
her brows lower to the floor
remember when prima xyz screamed and cried at the hospital?
cat out of the bag,
ex-primo xyz was the star of the family
he shined so bright but left in the dark was what he did to her in the dark.”
six years old. she cried.
fourteen years old. he knew what the hell he was doing.
prima couldn’t bare to birth her daughter knowing
that us girls will be taken too early and turned to women too, too soon.
my hand slams on the counter.
“so forgive me mamá when i say i am not a little kid anymore!”
the stories i’ve heard,
the stories i’ve seen,
and the stories i’ve learned to rewrite.
i’m not a little kid anymore
because it became up to us women,
the girls who grew up too soon,
to protect others from ever relating back to this story again.