Dirty Little Girl

I was twelve and rebellious,

far from God and home at curfew,

and my mother worried.

Of course, the logical way for any modern mother to solve her daughter's issues-

the way mothers have dealt with unruly young ladies for generations-

is to send her away.

Away to Catholic boarding school.

In 2015.

I forgive my mother,

I'm sure she didn't follow the newest sexual fads,

there's no way she saw what others saw when I pranced out of the house for my first day of school,

red plaid skirt hemmed above dress code in secret,

thigh high socks,

plaited hair,

and wire-rimmed glasses for her myopic little girl.

Little girl.

It's strange how a phrase can be malformed by the lips saying them.


when a group of skaters standing on the street corner lick their lips at my twelve year old legs,

pleading with me to call one of them "daddy,"

whistle at me and call after their "babygirl,"

is so much less comforting than when

my mother licks her lips after eating the breakfast I brought her in bed,

I run and jump into my real daddy's arms after he returns from work,

when my grandmother holds me in her lap and murmurs how I'm her preciousΒ mija.

Is being a little girl a dirty thing?

This poem is about: 
My community


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