Nov 232015

by Tracy Blanchard


I am not your girlfriend

The young girl whose body you were first

To open

In that way

That all female bodies will open


Some sooner than others.

My body was opened by another

A long time ago

And then prised open more and more

By many other others.

Sometimes I loved them.

Sometimes I didn’t.

Sometimes they loved me.

Sometimes they didn’t.

It’s a long history

Complicated and even if I tried

I could never tell you the truth,

Neither the humiliations

Nor the acts of nobility.

I know I will want to show you a picture

That doesn’t exist

Like when I believe that the last perfect look

I throw at the mirror before leaving for the day

Is the look I’ll wear all day long,

Even when I become angry at a slow driver,

Or trip on the sidewalk

Or spill coffee down my sleeve.

All I can try to show you is in my eyes

When I plead with you to be something immune

To the disease of goodbye.

Did I love you more than others? More than anyone else?

I will tell you

That when I put the mask on for you

I gave an extra rotation of the screws

Though the rust dug into my scalp and drew blood,

I endured the pain,

To keep it on just a little bit longer, pleading

Not yet, not yet,

Not while every word you spoke to me was still capable of

ripping a hole the size of a planet in my stomach

where the butterflies rushed in.