They used to tell me
when you’re older, you’ll have a softer voice,
you’ll grow into your skeleton and your loose skin,
you’ll get a career and a husband and start a family.

No one ever told me
how the earth seems to ache to have me closer,
how the pressure changes in the air will make my bones
feel like they’re made of sugar cane, or how the nakedness
of my own body could make me hate myself in ways that will never,
ever make any sense, no matter how old I get.

They used to tell me
when you’re older, you’ll understand.

They didn’t tell me
that the things I would understand would nearly break me,
or how the weight of such volatile knowledge would bruise
the muscles hidden beneath my skin, or how the caustic truths
of other people and their demons would eat away at me like acid.

These secrets kept from me were disguised as safety nets
when they’re nothing more than bear traps hidden in the fallen leaves.

The End

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