Fifteen years old,

You finally can fill a training bra.


The boy behind you in class whispers,

Words of things you overheard in your brothers movies.


What does the tightness of your shirt,

Have anything to do with him?


Words soon become familiar.






Rising up within your throat,

Like an unwanted presence,

Building up—slowly.


You cannot control it.


T-shirts become too large,

Your mother wonders why.

Doesn’t she know?

You’re not the only one.


The other girls seem to love it.

How could they be so confident?


So happy.


Is that how women are supposed to be looked at?

Talked to?


Maybe I spoke a different language.


I didn’t ask for it.

Why was I receiving it?


You give what you get.


That’s not what I gave.


Why was I so surrounded by lies?


My screams masked by testosterone.


“Raging hormones”


Words shoved back down my throat by,


“Oh, they’re just boys”


Grown women showing childish grins,


As their sons go on undiscovered.


Do they know?


Do they care?


Did they once hear these words?


Feel these words.

Burning into their chest,

Their soul.

Tearing through the layers of clothing.

Violating their innocence.

Clawing at them like scavengers.

Leaving their remains for dust.


How could they forget?




I guess.




These words become familiar.

You become familiar with yourself.




You have been molded,

By these words.



Twenty-one years old.


The man on the street whispers,


And it has everything to do with him.

This poem is about: 
My community
Our world
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