When I was 10

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When I was 10

   I noticed bodies shifting

to edge shoulders

just enough to swallow gaps

otherwise large enough

to invite

   Her participation

in conversations once easier

now multiplied into tangents

met by blank stares widening

the moat around her

   Body that gave birth

five times, still breeding

resentment among women

who exchange smug glances

mottled with envy

   Another woman

pulled the thread that started

the unravelling of all-she-knew-to-be-true

revealing a deck of cards no longer

in order

   To protect herself

from the stench of insecurity

she stopped going places

because it was less lonely

to be alone.

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