What can I do with my happiness? How can I keep it, conceal it, bury it where I may never lose it? I want to kneel as it falls over me like rain, gather it up with lace and silk, and press it over myself again.
Anaïs Nin, Henry & June (via alfsaga)
Some do drugs, others go out for a run, but at the end we’re all just searching for that tiny space, perhaps a hole, that gives us shelter from the terrible reality of the world.
GIRL CODE 101
We are the finaglers. The exceptions.
The girls who haven’t run the mile in
four years, who layer deep V-necks
with excuses. Eyelashes bat wiffle
balls at male gym teachers.
We are the girls taught to survive
by using our bodies as Swiss army
knives. Calculated scrunched nose
giggles and friendly forearm lingers.
We convince ourselves there is
protection in being polite. No,
you go first. Girls have to be nice.
Male kindness is so alien to us,
we assume it is seduction.
We are the unmarked tardies,
waved detentions, honorable
mentions in lush floral dresses.
We know the answer, but
do not raise our hands.
We are the asses smacked by
boys who made welcome mats
of our yoga pants. We are easily
startled. Men bark rabid love at
us from the street.
Once, my friend and I got
catcalled on Michigan Avenue,
and she said “Fuck you” while
I said “Thank you” like I was trained to.
I wonder if those men have daughters.
We shrug off assault.
Gentle love is propaganda,
just another starry-eyed idea
We had to try.
We are crossed legs, folded up
in bus seats to make room for
sprawling men. We are accessories.
We are fruit cocktails, free dinners,
minimalist salads, covered tabs.
But we would trade it all for respect.
Give me the bad days not blamed on
my gender. Give me the full dollar.
Give me a city where my body
is not public property.
Give me no makeup.
My sister once asked me why boys
look fine without makeup and girls don’t-
it is because no one ever accused them
of not looking good without it.
Give me a God I can relate to,
commandments from a voice
both soft and powerful. Give me
one accomplishment of Mary’s
that did not involve her vagina.
Give me a childhood that pushes
me to change the world, rather than
change myself. Give me decisions.
Give me a wordless wardrobe.
Give me an opinion-less dress.
We are the girls petrified of boys at
business schools, learning from men
who manifested success
by refusing to take no
for an answer.
So, do it. Decide. Is this the life you want to live? Is this the person you want to love? Is this the best you can be? Can you be stronger? Kinder? More Compassionate? Decide. Breathe in. Breathe out and decide.