Hurt / cry / hit “be enough” into my knees, and then move on so fully that when they text me a few months later and say, “hey, how are you?” or “we should get coffee,” or, “i think of you all the time,” or, “I don’t have anything to say you’re just on my mind,” I have to stop for a second and remind myself who they are. And then I roll my eyes, reapply another coat of lipstick, and reply, “Haha, ok.”
I am more than: my relationship status. My job. My age. My sexual orientation. My degree or lack of. My last name. My appearance. My gender. My sex. My short comings.
I am: rusted thoughts. A bloody tongue. Every city I have breathed in. Every bedroom I have loved in. Piles of words. Twisted metaphors. My thoughts. My actions. My dreams.
And I am not looking to be loved. I am looking to be seen."
I’m sick of talking about when I “lost” my virginity-
like I left something behind in that field-
because while you may have gotten by love
and my body,
you don’t own my innocence or my youth.
No amount of climbing on top of me will give that to you.
Riding in his car,
with his hand creeping up my thigh,
he tells me that I’m a mystery.
He wants to know
who I was before he touched me,
so he plucks the name of each
past lover from my mouth.
But I am not a graveyard where
mens’ touches have come to die.
There are no tombstones
inside of me, waiting for someone to
blow the dust off of them.
My chest does not come with
names and dates etched into it, so please,
quit looking for the face of each of my ghosts.
There is more to me
than who I have loved.
You will not
learn who I am
by learning how I’ve
I change my hair as often as I change my partners. It was wavy and to my knees with him. He invited me into his bathtub after sex and rubbed lavender-scented shampoo into each ripple. I asked him why he owned something that smelled like flowers. That was when I learned about his girlfriend. I had him drive me to the nearest barber shop, and had eight inches snipped off while he drove away, wearing a look of disappointment.
It was hip-length and burnt straight when I caught his eye. He coaxed me to his car by boasting about his “kick-ass mixes.” We kissed listening to a CD with songs from Abbey Road and Revolver on it. The only original thing he did was tell me I’d look good with short hair. I tried my hardest not to listen to his carefully combed mustache and pressed plaid shirt, but it was to my shoulders the next morning.
She tried to plant kisses on my wound-up curls, said all the boys had kissed me wrong. I bit my lip in desperation and said I had to go. I didn’t have enough curls to cover the fear and hunger working my face into strange shapes. She told me I knew where to find her if I changed my mind.
I worked bleach into the ends of it that night, trying to burn her name from me. The next afternoon, I was eyed by a thirty year old with a beer belly he’d spent his twenties earning. I smelt nothing but middle-age bitterness on him, but still, let him press him against his motel sink out of pity. He huffed and puffed as I studied the afternoon light making shadows on the floor’s chipped tiles. When he was done, he tugged on my bleached ends, and said it was my hair that’d caught his eye. I smiled and said I had to, “do lady things”, as he scuffled off to watch the news. In his shady motel bathroom, I found a pair of rusted scissors, and left every piece of blonde for him to clean up. He was half-asleep when I walked out, his pants still unbuckled. On the television, a stern man informed me that the country I was living in was at risk of war.
At five p.m., I was the girl with a pixie cut, crying on the steps of a museum. A wrinkled old woman came up to me and said, “Don’t worry, sweetie. We all make bad decisions.” I think she was talking about my crudely chopped hair, but I tasted every morning regret when I nodded at her.
If you’re looking for me, I’m the girl with remnants of a haircut on her shoulders. Give me a wink, I could use a snip."