in reference to rebellion

I climb out my window just to see if I can.

My parents used to be police officers, no joke,

yet here I am in the clubhouse of a legitimate gang.

I'm fourteen, sitting in an eighteen-year-old's lap and feeling the outline of his knife against my thighs.

It's two in the morning, smoke drifting out of his car windows,

and I am the pet white girl of a boy I barely know.


I slip the necklace into my purse just to see if I can.

My parents used to be cops, no joke,

yet here I am shoplifting with my friends in a Target.

I'm fifteen, tossing things around the security sensors at the exit of the store.

It's late on a school night, tags tearing from clothes,

and I am stealing things I will never wear.


I take another drink from the bottle just to see if I can.

My parents used to administer breathalyzer tests, no joke,Β 

yet here I am dancing in my friend's basement.

I'm sixteen, holding a cigarette between my fingers and gazing with hooded eyes at the boy with long eyelashes and a girlfriend he doesn't like.Β 

It's supposed to be a study group on a Tuesday evening,

and I am starting to feel dizzy.


I write another line, just to see if I can.

My parents used to search people, no joke,

yet here I am, typing all my secrets in an old Toyota.

I'm finally seventeen, still wild and out of control, boys throwing rocks at my windows and offering me rides in their car.

It's the middle of a school day in a hotboxed truck cabin,

and I am still learning.

This poem is about: 
My family


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