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Jade Aug 16
volume i
A Portrait of My Sixth-Grade Self

Eleven-year-old fingers
swollen with baby fat
dig into the gaudy shimmer
of turquoise eyeshadow
encased in its shattered compact.

I apply the pigment,
erratic smudges extending
from my lash line
to just below my untamed brows.

The blue powder accentuates the swirls
of my fingerprints in dizzy figure eights.

But you can't quit your own skin
like you can quit ice skating lessons.

I am in the sixth grade
when the Popular Girls
in my class tell me that,
if I want to get a boy to like me,
I have to change the way I look.

I abide by the rules of the
Unofficial Mean Girl Doctrine:

{no. 1}

I mustn't wear sweat pants,
these sloppy Old Navy rags
that I have owned for three years.

denim is superior to cotton
even though it leaves
cavernous indentations
on my stomach.

Sweat pants forgive
the extra swell of your waist line.

Denim punishes you
for what you don't have,
more specifically
for what you have too much of.

I ask my mom for skinny jeans
because perhaps if I can
shrink all that I am
into this blue, unyielding fabric
I will feel thinner than I actually am.

We buy the skinny jeans from Old Navy.

{no. 2}

My signature high pony tail is

I should wear my hair down,
they profess.

I am not sure if this is
because of the tufts of frizz
that loom over my scalp
like wasted dandelion seeds

(I wish... I wish... I wish...)

or if this is just a necessary ritual
in the abandonment of my girlhood.  

After I unsheathe my curls
from their rubber-band Bastille,
their trial commences.

My ringlets slither
in hostile circulations,
executing frequent detours away
from anyone who might scoff
at their animalistic bedlam.

If only I could will
my spectators to stone.

Cuz no one ever dared
**** with Medusa
and her curls.

I settle for a flat iron.

{no. 3}

Do everything in your power to be
including, but not limited to,
the laws indicated above.

despite my grandest efforts,
it is never enough.

I am never enough.

I am the Walmart Edition
of what the Popular Girls
want me to be.

With my gaudy eyeshadow and the
cheap Dollar Store bracelets
that I wear around my wrists,
plastic flowers blooming
upon threaded stems
that nip at the hair on my arms.

One day on the bus ride home,
a boy from my class tells me
I am too hairy.

"Huh?" I ask,
pretending I haven't heard him.

"Nothing," he mumbles back to me.

little girls are supposed to play with
jump ropes and Barbie Dolls.

They are not supposed to
play with razors as they strip away
every misplaced hair on their body
or consult Teen Vogue
for the latest beauty hacks
like they are Gospel.

This year of 2011/2012
has been engraved  into
the historical road map
of my every insecurity.
The legend of this map,
depicted in smeared globules
of sugar cookie lipgloss,
deliver me to my destination:

self hatred.

Mascara stains the
topography of my flesh
in inky, dotted lines

I follow.

I plummet
like the eternal run
in my stockings.

One way plane ride
never to return
from this perception of ugliness
and then--


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Eva Aug 11
Impermanence is tattooed on me

Saturday still tastes like tequila and

all the slow lazy kisses blur between boys

that won’t matter in five years anyway

Half a person and still a girl,

Everyday I think

I’m too young to be this age
Ritz Writes Jun 7
Pretentious smile,
I wish I could drown myself to sleep for a while.
Silver jubilee ringing,
yet afraid of the dark.
When the night haunts and loneliness arrives,
I'd still cowered in terror, hidden under the blanket
Like a broken mirror with shattered glass,
All the gamut of emotion laid scattered with each passing memories and bygone days.
"Don't you dare to speak.
Don't you dare to rebel.
Don't you dare to resist."
Else the shame and label of Traitor would be hung on your image for decades to come.
I Spoke, I Resist, I disobeyed
Not in the eyes of God
But in the eyes of men and women who couldn't find flaws in their own life.
And finally rejoiced to embrace the black dot in the perfect delusional world of normalcy.
“If you look for perfection, you'll never be content.” ~ Leo Tolstoy
Chelsea Primera Aug 2017
She wants to become a girl again,
After two divorces, three kids and
pieces of heart blended
into the uneven daily affairs.

She wishes to be innocent once more.
To see the sky through her amber eyes;
To laugh carelessly down a penniless neighborhood;
To recollect the fragrant things she holds dear.

Where is the Anne of Green Gables?
Where is the Alice in Wonderland?
Where are Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy?
Where did the flowers go to die.

She tells me she misses all the sunrise,
Gazing into a blue sunset,
The cooking that tastes no longer loving,
The perfume that smells no longer happy,
The loneliness that is no longer heroic.

She carries on, with her broken wings,
and the birth of a woman's concrete essence.
[sister poem--1|| 8/15/17
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Soak, wash, repeat.
Sweep, sweep, repeat.
Wipe, wipe, repeat.
Scrub, scrub, repeat.
Dice, dice, repeat.
Wipe, dry, repeat.
The tears that are good.
Pour, stir, repeat.
Open the door.
Serve the food.
Greet, greet the guests.
Smile, talk, repeat.
Say bye-bye, repeat.
Massage, press, repeat.
Yelp in pain.
Grab your abdomen.
Rub, press, repeat.
Let the sari unwrap.
Shake your head no.
Oh oh.
Run, hide, cry, plead.
Rub your stinging cheek.
Sob, sob, repeat.
Dab, dab, repeat.
The tears that are deserved.
Press your straining scalp.
Grab tight the bed sheet.
Groan, hiss , repeat.
Fake, fake, repeat.
Pain, pain.
Sore, sore, all over.
Go make a drink and then,
Massage, press, repeat.
Pick up the nephew.
Ignore the daughter’s lies.
Pat, pat repeat.
Put him down to sleep.
Sing the lullabies.
See your daughter writhe.
Writhe, writhe, repeat.
Kiss your daughter’s hand.
Feel her skin burning.
Watch your daughter weep,
Cry herself to sleep.
One drop down then two.
The tears that are meaningless.
Lie down as if asleep.
Twist, turn, repeat.
Wake up before dawn.
Now, you put on.
Red, green, black and gold.
Vermillion, bangles, beads.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Here is a little introduction to the lives of most housewives in India.
Emily Mar 2018
Red-Haired Woman I admire her
Red-Haired Woman got a mind of her own
But Red-Haired Woman got to learn to mind her own
Not everyone takes as kindly to your words
As kindly as I do
And even then, I raise doubt
Just like I raise the ace of cups

Pale as a vampire
Dressed in inappropriate funeral attire
She’s a killer queen
But not in practice
She keeps her Passion Pop
In her pretty hands with charcoal claws
Strangling the bottle’s neck
Whilst she drinks the nectar

She wears art decade black sunglasses
I see the world
Through rosy kaleidoscope lenses
I dream of marmalade skies
She speaks of vicious lies
Which might be true
But I have not a clue
I very much hope
That they are not

Because whilst I may take her words kindly
Without the slightest hint of salt
I trust that she is forever sweet
For her eyes glitter with justice
As she tells me these things
About the life I’ve led
Next to hers

I don’t want them to be true
Because if they are true
It would mean
I have not led
A life of marmalade skies
And of marshmallow pies
It would mean
That the roses I see
Are thorned after all
That the lilies I see
Adorn the funeral
Are toxic after all

Red-Haired Woman, I admire you
You're strong
And courageous
With flaming red hair
And eyes of sapphire blue
With spidery lashes of thick mascara
You do not die without a challenge
The world would be worse without you
And for that, I thank you
Emily Feb 2018
Today I saw a girl
She was walking
On a residential street
She looked out of place
But I knew her face
It’s a small town
So, of course, I knew her face
Of course, I know her name
She’s the Jones girl

She’s a teenager
I don’t know what she was doing
Probably doing whatever it is
Teenagers do
On a Sunday afternoon
In a small town

Platinum white hair
Piercings up her ear
Future up in the air
Scene and emo wristbands
And a graphic tee
Probably not from Hot Topic
Because Hot Topic ain’t so hot here

Here’s the thing
She’d be the It Girl
If it weren’t for her acne
If it weren’t for her height
If it weren’t for her weight
If it weren’t for her interests
If it weren’t for her hobbies
If it weren’t for everything about her
But her name
And her age

She deserves better
I don’t like her
Not personally
But she does deserve better
She deserves the city streets
There, and only there,
Can she can be who she wants to be

And if she can’t?
Then there’s no place I want to be
Not one at all
Because I want to be
Where she,
Where we all can be,
Who we want to be
Names changed to protect the identity of this poem's subject.
Lucy Ryan Jan 2018
she ripped a hole in her socks every day, maybe just to feel the thorns and let her legs bleed / that kind of lovelyblindingfrightening thing that you want to run your fingers through, tug on her hair just to feel the resistance / you ask her what it means to be a constructed girl and she says ‘convict yourself of ****** and you’re halfway there’ / in the dirt, tearing out flowers like a lonely god in the universe - she’s bruised, and soft and waiting
Mariel Ramirez Jan 2018
i'm getting ahead of myself and i feel nostalgic about everything already. i swear i was just thirteen yesterday. then i fell in love and i broke my own heart and fell in love again, got caught in the end. all of it just yesterday. some of it just feels like a dream.

and i woke up like this, almost eighteen. with a belly full of worries, a heart tripping on hope, and ribcage heaving with sighs. but still we persist. no matter that i hold my head in my hands or hide behind my hair a lot of the time. no matter that i am becoming afraid to speak. no matter that i think i want to cry all the time. and i don't even try to tell anyone anymore.

but just yesterday i was a kid and i'd never truly known what afraid meant. i never used the words heavy, burden, weight. now they're always on the tip of my tongue when i taste the air and try to gauge how i'm feeling. i open my clenched fists and think, pain.

what did i do? what changed yesterday? i remember at one point i learned to take a blade to my skin. at one point i learned to change my face. i learned to stop eating. i remember making so many promises. that if lord would grant me this, i would be glad. that's it, i would say. i would not ask for more. i would not need anything else. i think maybe i never needed more in the first place.

what have i done? if i could go back, what would it take to save myself? did i ask for the wrong things? had i worded my prayers differently, would i be someone else? what is this story? could i be doomed before i even begin? i don't miss who i was yesterday.  yesterday, she wanted to be who i am today. i don't like who i am today. i don't know if that will change when i wake up tomorrow, or in a few years.

maybe everything will be much the same but i won't know my heart again. i'll be wondering what was on my mind then. and it's just this: i am scared, cold, alone, and sorry for the choices i have made which led us to this place. i think i am weaker now than i have ever been, and it makes me ashamed.
written last year, feb. 24, 2017.
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