16

Being a girl is easy. First, you must rarely speak
and when you do, it must be hurried

so you don’t take up too much time. You must be slender
and reach out to those skinnier to prove you didn’t do it

on purpose. You must never say that spiders
crawl out your mouth and across the walls when you pray.

You must never say your body plays dress-up in skin
but it is actually water tension around constellations

of darkness. You must never say your bones are cactus
skeletons full of small snakes and that is why it rattles.

You must say you stay small because you don’t deserve the space.
People know how to respond to that. They say you do.

You do deserve it. You do. Because when you no longer look
like a stick about to break no one asks anymore. Take it from

experience. Because now I say you do, you do deserve
the space, you really do. Because being a girl is easy.

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