Hidden Bodies

Skirts to your knees
three fingers – no more.
My friends roll them up
the waist bulging
Tank tops?
Not a chance
Unless it resembles
a t-shirt without sleeves
My collarbone hides
with my thighs
A V-neck? Too low!
I don’t have cleavage
but my friends do
I wonder which is better
I get to wear lower shirts
and they get to be…
covered up.
Their breasts hide
in the darkness of shame.

Not enough make-up,
you look like you just woke up
Too much make-up,
who are you trying to impress?
One-piece swimsuits only!
Unless you’re a boy-
then bare your whole chest,
thighs are okay too.
My belly hides
but my tampon string hangs out
and I wonder if he saw it
No more bathroom breaks!
What are you doing in your locker?
I thought you were using the bathroom!
I shove my pad in my pocket
and apologize to my teacher
as I stain another pair of pants
Pull up your jeans
Pull down your shirt
I tuck away the bits of skin
along with my pride
No means no.
because you’ll never be the one
who does the asking

The other day my friend said,
I’m not a feminist-
I just believe in equality.
I felt the weight of generations of women
crush upon me
Is this only how far we’ve come?
Is this what moving forward looks like?
Bodies are covered, measured,
and weighed
We are clothed like gifts to unwrap
but not until we’ve been bought,
purchased with a diamond ring
The space where our future children grow
is called scandalous
The spot that was once our lifeline
is a belly button of seduction

When we bleed, we bleed the blood
of every woman who came before us
who wanted something more
than being plugged up
with dick-shaped cotton

I am not a distraction, they say
and I hope they can grow a world
where bodies are sacred, loved
and honored
I am not a distraction, it’s true
but darling, you’re much more
than this too
Your belly, your thighs, your collarbone
Your breasts, your uterus, your blood
You, my dear, are a woman.

Photo by PhotoAltelier

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