Girls who love other girls …
The girls at my school called girls who liked other girls —queer
It wasn’t a power-word, it was a tailored slur like—perversion
They used it like pitch tar to pour over any girl who was:
Ugly, different, anti-social, didn’t date, liked to keep their hair short
Rejected pink, hated Valentine’s Day, disdained posters of boys in their locker
Didn’t lean in the bathrooms swapping body-spray and lip-gloss
(Had a mind of their own, excelled in science, enjoyed reading feminist literature).
Pre-teen, I stood in the bathrooms, fluffing my 90’s hair, worrying about
My unibrow, was it too much? Thick eyebrows are in—right?
The push-up bra and netted leggings biting into my skin
Nobody suspected me, I passed, having learned as an immigrant
You do what it takes, adopt the accent, the fashion, the jargon
Even the food (though my stomach roiled at the thought of…
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