One:

She carried the weight of the world

In her arms, stomach, and thighs,

Always alienated, but the size

Of her loneliness filled her

And words like daggers killed her.

Insults kept her company

Like the friends she never made,

All too afraid

That she might have buried

A heart under all the fat she carried.

The remedy they gave was simple;

Told her to just stop eating.

“Stop!” they kept repeating.

She took the pills so she could heal;

Satisfied them all with that final meal

 

Two:

The change of fifteen new years

Made a world of difference.

Took away her innocence;

Gave her body a woman style,

But she was really just a child.

The purity of her dreams played

In her head as she slept

And In her bed he crept

Waking her with an unholy proposition.

Forced the child into submission.

She could see the darkness of his deed

Appear all over her skin.

She let the darkness in.

Noosed her neck with the same sheets;

Too many years too soon deceased.

 

Three:

For years she was minstreled by the pronoun ‘he’;

Boys’ do’s and don’t’s; living life in shades of blue.

And boy, oh, boy, this girl knew

That no matter what, she could not hide

Who she was on the inside.

In youth, she waited impatiently until

The time came that she started her transition

To show the world who she’s always been

And met a boy and held his hand

And hoped that he would understand.

He fell in love prematurely

And found a puzzling childhood photo.

He beat her fatally, tears falling from his eyes, crying he wasn’t a “homo”.

Blood flowed from between her legs and she felt pain in her abdomen;

They always said that experience was what it meant to be a real woman

 

Four:

She would wear her heart on her sleeves

If her arms weren’t always bare.

She loved openly and freely, the way most girls wouldn’t dare.

Neck lines low, hem lines high, excess fabric would be cut.

They would call her a fashionista if they didn’t already call her a slut.

Her reputation preceded her

Everywhere she went,

Especially after he made viral, the pictures that she sent.

Then the whispers grew louder, so did the voices in her head,

Telling her that she was stained with sin and tainted.

She was never looked at with more disgust

Than by the men she just got done fucking;

And never hurt anyone else, by virtue, the way that she was hurting.

But the world was convinced that her christened name was “whore”;

In church she knelt, gun to her head, went forth and sinned no more.

 

Five:

The less she weighed, the more she gained

And she was on a roll.

The hunger was the only pain in her life she could control.

The world praised her emaciation as a victory.

Still, her weight loss methods remained a mystery.

Her mother always stressed to her

The importance of being thin.

Never had much in common but in self-loathing they were akin.

Though the love was conditional, she had to have it.

Vying for her approval triggered her bad habit.

She looked in the mirror enraged,

Used all her might to smash it to pieces,

Hospitalized when she collapsed from weakness.

“Black girls don’t have eating disorders” was her mother’s excuse for her diet.

If it weren’t for the fatal results, her mother would have tried it.

 

Six:

Girls “experiment” all the time, she thought,

But this was more than trial and error.

This girl was helplessly and hopelessly in love with her.

Best friends turned lovers, a teen movie cliché,

But rare were the hallmark movie endings for couples that were gay.

Closed doors raised no suspicion,

And what were shared sheets between friends?

Until their families discovered the young, curious lesbians.

Shunned, shamed, and left without a home,

They had no clue how to make it on their own.

In the park they slept,

Where they cuddled and kissed.

“’Til death do us part” they ironically promised.

One morning they found warm beds on gurneys;

Inhospitable conditions ended their love’s journey.

 

Seven:

Everyone always told her

That her father loved her best,

But she stiffened at the mere mention of daddy dearest.

From the tender age of four

He knocked like the devil at her door.

With her mother in the next room,

He was very discrete.

Swaddled her in secrets that he forced her to keep.

As an adult, she tried her best to forget,

But she cut her wrists and blood let,

She drank herself to sleep at night,

And got high every day,

But heroine didn’t take the pain away.

The day came that she overdosed

And at her wake, her father cried the most.

 

Eight:

It was the only true love that she had ever known,

Fairytale wedding fit for a Pinterest board.

He only had one flaw that was easily ignored.

She was always careful not to make him upset;

The love she had for him kept her emotions in check,

But sometimes she would make mistakes,

Sometimes she would slip,

She bore the bruises as reminders on her lips.

If she ever looked in the vicinity of another guy,

She wore the consequences, black and blue, around her eyes.

When she contemplated leaving, she was told by an elder

That a good wife stands by her man faithfully.

The rigor mortis around her ring made certain that she was buried with her fidelity.

She loved him more than air; his love replaced her oxygen.

His cell did not compare to the prison that she lived in.

 

Nine:

Seventeen minutes passed curfew;

Two seventeen year-olds.

Sirens blared in the darkness and they stood still as they were told.

They checked their eyes for drugs and searched them for guns.

They checked for affirmations of crime because of their complexions.

Police hands lingered too long

Over one girl’s body.

He went into the backseat of the car and said “Come with me”.

The other girl watched frightened,

Knowing that they were both underserving.

She wondered in that moment, just who they were protecting and serving.

Before she could think clearly about how to proceed,

She ran and banged the car window,

Demanding the pig let her friend go.

When the guns came out she knew the mercy that they lacked;

She ran for her life but lost it to seventeen bullets in her back.

 

Ten:

They preached that abstinence

Was the only option,

But they proceeded anyway, without caution.

He was her first love and she hoped he’d be her last,

So she paid no mind when they said they moved too fast.

She gave him everything she had

And he gave her something too.

The obstacles in their way narrowed their options down to two.

But neither choice solved the problem

Of her bible thumping parents finding out what they’d done.

She heard whispers through the grapevine

Of dark corners where she could hide from God.

She was laid on a wooden table and penetrated by a cold metal rod.

Now she was a cold body that they called a baby murderer.

As she lay dying they prayed that God would forgive her.

 

Everything is lighthearted and easy to make jokes about

When there are no names, no faces, no blood,

Or body counts.

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