The neighborhood boys have grown taller
than their absent fathers.
My girl use to be one of the boys,
throat a gun tossed in to a river
fist fight for a mouth
bag of ice for a father.
Then her body grew soft where she did not want it soft
grew full, grew heavy, grew ripe
if the boys see then the boys will become hungry.
My girl avoids mirrors
binds her breasts like a secret
buries the dead in between her legs
every month bleeds like she is a wound
calls out the names of the dead like lottery numbers
and all the names sound like her own.
My girl picks her father from a list of fatherless rappers,
measures her thighs in her bedroom
is on a diet, forever
is a red balloon stolen from a party
deflating in a corner.
Her first kiss, a boy who does…
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