pour me out

I lose 10 pounds
cup size B sprouts.
My butt is flat compared to Rachael’s.
 
“You like Alec, don’t you?”
 
I soon learn
to confuse kindness
with flirting
and flirting
with withholding.
 
“You’re a tease.”
 
I’m 13.
I do not understand what
teasing means.
I was taught to smile
and be nice
when I don’t want to be.
 
The equation
no longer added up.
 
Hours drained on empty boys.
Touches and grabs and expectations.
I plucked and I shaved and waxed
I burned the skin on my upper lip.
 
To what purpose
to interest boys who used me
to fill their own bodies and minds.
They drained me as I topped them off.
 
I was
caught tangled
with men between my legs
filling me with
shame,
dichotomy of the feminine
the conservative.
 
My body
both me
and not me.
 
My breasts grew from birth control
boys looked at me 
as curves became their canvas
to judge.
 
At 12 blood ran
from my underwear
The aches from my empty womb
 
“You hooked up with Christian?”
 
I am 12.
I do not understand what
hooking up means.
 
The male gaze
framed me as lovely
until
my voice exposed
what was inside.
 
I remember
becoming more than a body.
 
“You care more about your career
than our future.”
 
At 26 I felt poured out
until I was dry
I had to replenish myself
I’ve learned to love my own taste.
 
I recognize the power of
kindness
intentional use of charm
of beauty
I have a choice in the version
I show of me.
 
At 27 my blood
holy water – filling
Life.

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