Why not? Because I was tired of men. Hanging in doorways, standing too close, their smell of beer or fifteen-year-old whiskey. Men who didn’t come to the emergency room with you, men who left on Christmas Eve. Men who slammed the security gates, who made you love them then changed their minds. Forests of boys, their ragged shrubs full of eyes following you, grabbing your breasts, waving their money, eyes already knocking you down, taking what they felt was theirs. It was a play and I knew how it ended, I didn’t want to audition for any of the roles. It was no game, no casual thrill. It was three-bullet Russian roulette.
Who taught me to suck in my stomach,
or my cheeks?
Who told me to stand with my legs apart
and my hips thrust back
to create the illusion of a gap
between my thighs?
Who made me believe that the most beautiful part of me
is my negative space?
My mm taught me to suck in my stomach when I was in fourth grade