I guess I was half-expecting the sound of fingernails to fill the room,
but I decided to let myself drown in the silence
sink to the bottom
until looking up was my last option.
I know my dad wouldn’t be proud of me,
but, listen, I’m trying to ask myself what being a woman means
as if I can ask myself that question in a Planned Parenthood,
the twist, here, being that I can,
and that I’ve never felt more like a woman than here,
as the outsider looking in,
watching a stringy-haired lady lace her fingers together
a faded cross where a ring oughta be
breathing into her hand like a prayer
cursing like she’s sick of hell
while the woman to my left exchanges a smile with mine that says,
“I’ve been here before.”
Here is a dusty lobby
with a 7-day forecast of the storms rolling in.
Here is where I am stuck between love and lust and loneliness
because love is selling your soul to the Devil
lust is taking the first bite out of God’s shiny apple
and loneliness is hiding your shame from Him.
but I am a seventeen year old girl who wants to be a woman,
whatever that means.
I am bare legs in the backseat,
fog on the windows.
I am too afraid to fall, but do you see the bruises on my knees?
I am the first “I love you”, but not the first “how could you?”
I’m a body with a mind,
in case you forgot,
and I like to use both.
I’m the bedsheets, the hidden towel beneath my pillow,
and I’m speeding just to get home before curfew.
I’m the goosebumps and the little hairs sticking up
and the whispers in the dark.
I’m no savior, but I’d like to hold you together,
and is my make-up smeared?