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I see so many ads now
they feed into my insecurities
and help me to notice everything that is wrong with me.

"Got stretch marks?"
they ask, and my eyes shamefully
trace down my chest to my inner thighs and I learn to hate what I see.

So I read on, hoping to learn
how to get rid of the natural signs of an ageing vessel
"Neosporin, coconut oil, and olive, and they'll be gone in a week."

The ads proclaim, and so I do as they say
because how can I be pretty
if no one else thinks me so?

"10 Tips on How to Get the Relationship of Your Dreams"
"5 Signs that You're Not as Pretty as You Think You Are"
"4 Things to Try to Spice Up Your *** Life"

"1 Way to Tell Whether the Creepy Old Man on the Corner Thinks You're Worthy of Being Catcalled by Him"

I read on, trying to understand what it is to be pretty
but the more I see,
the more hopeless I become

Men will only ever see me as a piece of meat,
just a pair of **** and an ***,
only there for their enjoyment or pleasure.

but I am not here to make things easy,
I am more than the sum of my parts,
more than my cellulite and hip dips

I revel in my stretch marks
I have grown into the woman I am today,
and I refuse to erase the proof of that.
I am not here to be a ******* incubator. I am not here for man's pleasure.
Em May 2022
i feel like im playing an intense game
of mental tennis
in my mind
i serve
"i think i might be a lesbian"
the ball comes hurling back twice as hard
i didnt expect it
"you cant be a lesb*an, your family would completely reject you"
i miss
15 love
they serve
"youve had crushes on boys before"
I hit
"but i only liked the boy i made up in my mind, he was a silhouette of a boy who had feminine qualities"
they hit back
"you have to like boys. its whats right"
30 love
I forfeit
inner dialogue
Ind Mar 2022
in his limbs i find penance

when he pins me down
                                                     its my mothers hands around my throat
                 for sounds i won’t make
                                                                ­                     to be allowed silence  
when we join i know
                                         i hate him  
after we part
                                                              i hate myself

                            solace in the steamed bathroom mirror
                                    hiding the sin from the sinner  
                                                                      washed off together as though


her limbs are absolution  
                                                    ­                                 seek and ye shall find
i am forgiven between her thighs
                                                                               on earth as it is in heaven
the prayer on my tongue meets god
                                                                ­                                                                 ­                                                                her gasp Amen
When my mom first thought that I was gay,
She and my father sat me down at the kitchen table.

I was fifteen and thought I was in love,
And all they could do was scream at me...

‘You’re a sin; what you feel isn’t natural.’
‘Where did we go wrong?’

And all I had wanted was to love in peace.
But apparently, that was too much to ask from them.

So I stifled myself.

I cut myself off from her and let us wither
Until there was nothing left of us because
I wasn't normal
And I was fifteen
And all I wanted was my mother’s approval
And how could I gain that if I wasn’t normal?

And then I was sixteen and I thought I was in love again
But this time with a seventeen-year-old boy
That knew nothing of love
And everything of sharp edges and even sharper words
But he spoke so pretty to me,
And how could I resist?

But he hurt me worse than anyone else that I’ve known
And he never even cared…

And then I was seventeen.

I was seventeen and my best friend had this mane
Of beautiful hair and I called her lovely and wife
And all the other silly little pet names that high school girls do
But little did she know that her smile
Lit fireworks inside my brain and the swarms of
Butterflies that beat in my chest rivalled that of a drum.

I thought she was beautiful.
I saw the universe in her.

But how could I admit that to myself without admitting it to
My mother, the one person whose validation I crave like
Air and water and life itself?

How could I admit to her that I wasn’t
Her little girl anymore?
That I was a disappointment?

And then I was eighteen.

I was eighteen and numb and not looking for anything when he found me...
I was eighteen and I thought that surely,
This was it, this was the feeling that I was waiting for.

But it wasn’t and I was eighteen and alone again
But this hurt worse than the others and then I was gone after that summer.

Now, I’m almost nineteen.

I’m almost nineteen and I’ve accepted the fact that
I will disappoint my mother;
The one whose opinion that I value the most;
The one that gave birth to me;
The only one that can tear me down until I feel like nothing.

But she’s my mother so how could I let her go
When she was there for my first word and my first steps
And every one of my other firsts.

My first date.

My first dance.

My first breakup.

She was there when I left for college, and she’ll be there when (if)
I get married.

Because regardless of my choices,
She loves me, and she always will.

And even if I can’t bring my partner home,
I will love her all the same.

So mom, if you see this,
I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that I didn’t turn out how you wanted.
I’m sorry that I disappointed you.

But I’m not sorry for being who I am.

I’m not sorry for thinking women are beautiful
And men are handsome
Because all the world needs is a little bit more love,
And who am I to deprive it of that?
An apology to my mother, who may or may not see this...
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