I hated my boobs

in high school.

Though girls would tell me

                  they were jealous.

I hated my body

in high school;

it was soft and curvy,

which meant




I hated my shape

in high school.

Trying to hide under large

collard shirts that bunched

horribly when tucked

into my khaki skirt.

A shape all girls want

they complimented.

A shape all boys want

they condemned.

                  An hour glass

sifting time slowly,

one ogle at a time

one shameful thought at a time

one wish at a time

                  to be invisible.

Your smile

lights up a room.

They said.

Your smile

Is sweet.


At the shop where I worked

he asked for help.

So I smiled

my oblivious smile

and helped.

I stood near the shelf,

a step away from him,

but not out of reach.

Not so far that he couldn’t

reach out

and bump into my breast.

Not so far that he couldn’t feign

an accident.

Not so far that he could be



he smiled like a barracuda.

But I knew it wasn’t

an accident.


He laughed like a mockingbird.

But I knew he wasn’t


I smiled


like a mouse at a cat’s paw.


                  what else could I do?

Shaking, I rang him up.

Shaking, I wished him a good day.

Shaking, I wanted to go home

and never come back.


I hated my breasts

for being a

beautiful curse.

If I could have cut them off

I would have.

If I could have torn them

from my body

I would have.

If I could have dug them out

with my hands

I would have.

I hated my smile

for masking my confusion.

I hated my smile

for appearing to invite.

I hated my smile

for being so bright

when my body

                  was all wrong.

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