Outed

In my outside life, I am
all perfume and loneliness,
the permanent suggestion
of a fashion magazine
on my breath. What
I buy: thongs, bras,
lipstick, eyeshadow,
costumes for the poetry
reading where no one
should get laid. During
class, every discussion
retreats into its own
shadow. I imagine lighting
a cigarette. I imagine
burning my breasts open,
flushing my wedding ring,
torching the places
that used to house
his fists. Every time
I undress is an indictment.
There are questions of
rape, of police involvement,
of the clothes I was
wearing. At poetry
readings, the men
congratulate me
in the form of a hug
that does not let go.
It is exactly the kind
of display my adult self
cannot, for its own health,
believe into existence.
Hours on end, I think
about high school: the night
clubs, the hangovers, how
every teacher’s hello
carried the menace
of a man wanting to unravel
your too-young body.
Love is an unhooked
bra strap at 3 AM.
I sleep with my phone buried
into the recesses of my bed,
as if to prepare myself
for the inevitable dick pic.
Everything is afraid.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.