Girlhood, an Object


I remember her
in a steam of white chili
chicken soup and salting
fries and never eating
the last two bites.

She shrunk and shrunk. Honey,
I was a Teenage Hatred.

Voicemails on speaker after school
at the ice cream shop, my friend said
her boyfriend called ten times a day.
So no breakfast or snacks
before supper. All of it

for him. Before she deleted me
as a friend in college —
how silly and upset I got,
revisiting movies we used to watch—
before, when I was pissed off about things
like the flavor of the day. Before
his hands held nothing
but a hook for her, before I knew the specifics
of how a woman worries, we learned
a dinner plate can be a pedestal for anyone.

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