Cis boys love to talk about their cocks.
It’s an obsession with them.
Scrawling the bloody things all over text books and on walls.
As if to say ‘this is ours’.
'Our territory. Our world. You best beware here.'
Measuring with rulers in the back of maths class.
While harassed supply teachers sigh:
'Well, boys will be boys.'
Yet the moment I say a word about my vagina,
The world stops still.
And collectively tuts,
And frowns down at me like a scandalised Victorian schoolteacher.
'I have a vagina'.
They cringe and grimace.
They do not know where to look.
'Every month it bleeds.'
You can hear them can’t you?
The men gagging and cursing.
Because I have brazenly revealed the truth of myself.
That I am a living being and a living body.
Not a toy,
Pretty and smooth and pleasing.
Presented for their fickle consumption.
'I can achieve orgasm without any of you.'
Glasses drop, shatter.
Eyes are wide like saucers.
Someone faints with horror.
After some deliberation a single boy steps forward.
There is a look to his eyes,
A greedy, predatory glint I would love to carve out of them.
Before he becomes a man and a monster.
The first time I ever saw a woman kissing a woman,
Was in the hands of an immature, sweaty boy,
Under the desk beside me.
On a phone the teacher pretended not to notice.
One of the lads stuck his crotch in my face,
To punish me for the crime of sitting on a public bench,
He fancied reclining on.
I was a ‘bitch’,
Because I once declared not one of those boys,
Would ever be good enough for me.
(Now we return to our scene).
The ringleader smirks,
As though he would crush me in his fist,
Or see me trussed up like a plastic Barbie.
( I don’t think he has decided yet).
'Okay then, we'll watch' he announces.
'Fuck off. No.'
And close the curtains.
This is how to run a stick of Chapstick
down the black boxes on your scantron
so the grading machine skips the wrong
answers. This is how to honor roll. Hell,
this is how to National Honor Society.
This is being voted “Most Likely to Marry
for Money” or “Talks the Most, Says the
Least” for senior superlatives. This is
stepping around the kids having panic
attacks in the hallway. This is being the
kid having a panic attack in the hallway.
This is making the A with purple moons
stamped under both eyes. We had to try.
This is telling the ACT supervisor you have
ADHD to get extra time. Today, the average
high school student has the same anxiety
levels as the average 1950’s psychiatric
patient. We know the Pythagorean theorem
by heart, but short-circuit when asked
“How are you?” We don’t know. We don’t
know. That wasn’t on the study guide.
We usually know the answer, but rarely