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Bad Feminist

You’re a bad feminist
because you keep crying about boys
who don’t give a shit about you
You’re a bad feminist
because you preach self care to your friends
and self-destruct when no one’s around
You’re a bad feminist
because you like to say fuck the male gaze
while forcing yourself to slap on makeup
and shave your legs before every date
You’re a bad feminist
because you let your insecurities spread like wildfire
until everything has been burned to the ground
You’re a bad feminist
because you quit therapy
even though you’re an emotional breakdown away
from sabotaging everyone’s happiness
You’re a bad feminist
because all you do is write about your mother
in a language she can’t read
while you ignore her calls
because you’re fucked up
and hearing her on the phone
makes you feel even more fucked up
You’re a bad feminist
because your biggest and most frequent lies
are “I’m okay” and “I’m fine”
You’re a bad feminist
because you keep screaming love yourself
(please please please just love yourself)
to all these empty fucking rooms
that make up that sad excuse of a thing
you call your beating heart

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One Year Later

same place,
different boy
but this time,
I’m in control
this time,
I’m on top
this time,
it’s my car in the dark
and I’m the one wary
of getting caught
this time,
my breath comes out smooth
instead of sharp
this time,
he’s the one
who can feel my beating heart
this time,
the kissing doesn’t stop
and this time
doesn’t feel like a loss

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catch the moon.

I can’t stop
coming undone
when I’m stuck
on this cluttered freeway
chasing the moon
when no one is around
to watch me unravel
and the darkness is a cover
for another breakdown
I tell myself to breathe
but all I taste is wet salt
all I taste is loneliness
emptying my insides out
I pat down my cheeks
checking for mascara tracks,
hoping to be told
“you look pretty
for a train wreck”
This moment will pass
I tell myself
I tell myself a lot of things
That’s all I ever do
I swear I’ll get better
I swear one day
my car won’t be
a place of mourning
I swear one day
I’ll drive and
I’ll catch the moon

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garden

You listen to songs
that sound pretty
talking about things
you know nothing about
You think about sex,
the kind
that would make you beg
the kind
that would make you scream
the kind
that would make you believe in God
You think about lovers
that flash before your eyes
all that regret hanging heavy
in the back of your throat
and washed down
with nostalgia
You dance alone
in your room
watching the way
your hips move
so reckless
touching yourself
like your hands
aren’t yours
You lie in the dark
eyes shut
thighs opening
and closing
like a flower in bloom
like the flower he plucked
from the garden between your legs
Who knew loneliness
could feel so empty
and so good
at the same damn time
Who knew you could bury
your longing
for another mouth
to devour your earth.
For nails and teeth
digging into skin.
For whispers
drenched in salt rain.
Hands clenching roots.
Tongue
in tulips.
But it sinks
so deep:
This want
for flesh
that tastes
bittersweet

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Lopsided

We’re kissing
on his bed
in his tiny studio
lips touching,
tongues darting.
I hate his mouth.
I wait for it to get better
like I always do
It doesn’t.
I feel guilty.
He’s so nice.
Cute, smells good.
He’s on top of me,
staring at me in the darkness
I can barely see him
but it’s still hard to look back.
I offer up a smile
A smile to cover up
thoughts swirling around
how to let him down gently
how to say this is not what I want
how to say I don’t think
this can become anything
because he is too much of a stranger
to make this worthwhile
and that’s okay
Isn’t it?
Maybe I leave too often
before the end of the song
Maybe we’ve skipped too many steps
to see this through
This lopsided dance
is nothing new,
I’ve stumbled through
this routine before
Sometimes leading,
other times following
But the disappointment
of the finale
still knocks me off my feet
every time

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Womanhood

when did i become a woman.
it was not when blood
fell from my womb
for the first time
the fifth time
the umpteenth time
staining my underwear,
my clothes,
my bed,
the chair,
covering me in shame.
it was not when blood
blossomed bright
on toilet paper
after he was done crashing into me
in the backseat i will come
to think of as a memorial
i want to rip out and set on fire
to desecrate the site
of his hit and run.
it was not when blood
red lipstick became
my new favorite weapon,
carefully applied
to accentuate
teeth that learned to bite.
highlighting a mouth
that would lure you in.
devour you.
and puke out your remains.
i think.
i think
i became a woman
when i found the grace
to fall in love with who i am.
when sorry
began to taste bitter
on my tongue.
when screaming
my pain and joy
was the only
way to heal.
to survive.
to live.
that.
was my becoming

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Quiet

I’ll hit you up, he texts you.
Okay, you text back
even though
you know this usually means
you will never hear from him again.
When did you become so expendable.
Your friends tell you you’re amazing.
You’re too smart for those guys, they say.
Nobody’s good enough for you.
You want to scream and curse,
tell them to shut up
because it’s a version of the truth
that doesn’t ease the ache
for another warm body,
that is harder to swallow
when disappointment and sadness
are your most loyal companions,
the ones who ride with you in cars
and curl up in bed with you at night.
Instead you smile at your friends
and practice gratitude
for their collective,
effortless ability
to look you in the eyes
and let such reckless words
fall from their mouths.
It’s a more loving pain
than the things said to you
by boys.
You have learned
quite brutally
that boys
will have no trouble saying
1) things they don’t mean,
2) things they only mean in the moment
but never again,
and 3) things they do mean
that will unravel you
and leave you sick in the head,
and all of this
is done much more easily
when they never have to face you
when you are reduced to
a string of deletable messages
in their phones
instead of an angry girl
standing before them
demanding to know why.
Why take the time to hurt you IRL
when they can hurt you via SMS?
Apathy is better served
from a distance,
is it not?
Ghosts.
That’s all they are.
Their words haunt you.
Their silence keeps you up at night.
You become crazy
and confused,
fall out of love
with yourself.
What do you want?
You are too emotional for sex
and too heartless for love.
What can you want?
You want quiet.
Not the sharp silence
of words left unsaid
or promises you pulled
from half-hearted lines,
so quickly torn to shreds.
You want his pretty face
and warm, wordless body
to come inside.
He never has to say a thing.
You let him in.
Lead the way,
and he follows.
He can watch you with soft eyes,
smile as he pleases,
kiss you as you arch
your back in pleasure.
But nothing should ever come
crawling out of his mouth,
forcing its way into your chest,
choking your heart
into cruelly remembering
that it is more
than just
a sac
of blood