I want to see more girl monsters. Girl giants, girl dragons, hulks & trolls. Scylla and hydra. Girl monsters who are huge and whole. Teeth and plush fur and long muscled tails. Heads enough to see you anywhere. Gleaming green or brown. But girl monsters are usually zombies or vampires. Pale and thin, bleeding or dead. Not Lady Lazarus, not a phoenix from the ash. I want to see how you get strong without being broken first. Get strong and stay strong. Get big and bigger.
We are practicing to be brides, to be girls who will grow up to be given away. My legs would rather be running, itch to go outdoors. My legs are dreaming, adventurous legs. They cannot walk down the aisle without protest. They go too fast. They go too slow. They make everything slow down. The girl walking behind me steps on the red dress; it tears. It moves from my flesh like wind moving against the running legs. I am truly lucky now to have this tear. I hope they will make me sit, but they say No we would not think of taking you out of the show. They know how much every girl wants to be in a wedding. The tear must be mended. The red dress like a woman’s heart must break silently and in secret.
When you grow up as a girl, the world tells you the things that you are supposed to be: emotional, loving, beautiful, wanted. And then when you are those things, the world tells you they are inferior: illogical, weak, vain, empty. The world teaches you that the way you exist in it is disgusting — you watch boys cringe backward in your dorm room when you talk about your period, blue water pretending to be blood in a maxi pad commercial. It is little things, and it is constant. In a food court in a mall, after you go to the gynecologist for the first time, you and your friend talk about how much it hurts, and over her shoulder you watch two boys your age turn to look at you and wrinkle their noses: the reality of your life is impolite to talk about. The world says that you don’t have a right to the space you occupy, any place with men in it is not yours, you and your body exist only as far as what men want to do with it. At fifteen, you find fifteen-year-old boys you have never met somehow believe you should bend your body to their will. At almost thirty, you find fifteen-year-old boys you have never met still somehow believe you should bend your body to their will. They are children. They are children.
When our breasts arrived
as a kind of currency, we’d tug
our camisoles low, use
our newfangled bodies to haggle
with the ice cream man. The winner
was the girl who received her chocolate cone
for free, who sucked on candy cigarettes
the same way she wore a training bra.
That summer my pockets grew forests
of hand-tied maraschino cherry stems:
tampered evidence that I might one day be worthy
of kissing. In exchange for rides
on the handlebars of their bikes,
we’d let the boys bite
the beads off our candy
necklaces until the chokers
resembled punched out teeth.
From their slobber, blue and violet
stained my throat where the sweetness
had once been, so I suppose,
Your Honor, I was preparing
So lovely: For her daughter Emma’s fifth birthday, Canadian photographer Jaiime C. Moore styles her in the likeness of powerful female role models – Amelia Earhart, Jane Goodall, Coco Chanel, Susan B. Anthony, and Helen Keller.
The cutest interview of the month. Year?
LOLLL My favorite part: “I HID IT UNDER THE RADIATOR”
"Why do you think she needed a haircut?" "Because it was all the way down - almost about all the way down to her tush."
HER TUSH. And then she goes on about how if her sister’s hair got any longer it would go in the toilet when she had to go, and that would be gross. She just had her sister’s back, is all! Literally.