I knew I was old when Daddy didn’t come to braid my hair and tell me stories anymore.
Sometimes I want to be twelve again.
I don’t want my chest to feel heavy, my spine to ache with the weight of my bosom.
I don’t want to feel dirty when a man brushes across me in the busy streets of my city, his elbow touching the edge of my breasts.
I don’t want to keep scrubbing my nipples underneath the shower, my tears blinding me, hoping this water would brush away that touch, that filth of unwanted warmth off my skin.
I wish, oh I fucking wish.
I don’t want to be seventeen anymore.
I want to wake up, still praying to be seventeen on my twelfth birthday, my father braiding my hair.
I don’t want to feel like his mouth still persists on me after he has kissed my cheek.
I don’t want to flinch when someone wishes to hold my hand, to touch me.
I want to wake up, and forget my dreams.
I want to wake up, stop dreaming anymore.
My Daddy stopped braiding my hair when I was seventeen and I shivered when he touched my curls.
He told me I was a woman grown, and now I needed only to touch myself, and no one else.
I was a woman grown, a dirty thing, a filthy thing, a glorious thing?
I am seventeen and I am nothing more than a rant, a word, a hope, a joke.
I am my hair, my skin, my breasts, my cunt, myself and still not me.
I am my heart, my lungs, my dreams, my soul and never again anything that used to be me.
I am a woman, I am a female, I am a goddess, I am a whore, I am a mother, but then again, could I be so much more?
I am the universe,
And I am just an atom.
I am starlight,
And I am also the street light whose shadow you find to take a piss.
I am me,
And I am nothing, everything, something, anything.
I am me, you, but not that seventeen-year-old.
I am fallen leaves, rotting flowers strewn upon puddles, and the cracked barks of trees.
I am the last colors of a forgotten rainbow, the scent of jasmine, and the taste of the first plum you bite into.
I am the first steaming sip of hot chocolate, and the last kiss goodnight on a wintry evening.
I am the rain, hail, sleet and snow, I am soggy letters, and smudged secrets.
I am everything, but not that seventeen-year-old.
I am a child, I am a woman, but I promise, oh I fucking promise you, I am still so much more.