Tag Archives: relationships

This is Thirty

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This life isn’t 
a group of the ladies
in ridiculous stilettos 
on a pointless Tuesday
sipping Cosmopolitans 
while sharing the latest
philosophy about the hottest
one-night-stand-of-the-week,
holding the glass above
their head-held-high
because this is some kind
of fully-formed thirty,
this imaginary adulthood
they told us about in order
to soften the blow. 
 
…No. 
 
This is the girl who lost 
her debit card the same day
she realized she left her umbrella
at home, forever figuring out
the answer to what and why
in her favorite worn boots,
now until…whatever. 
This is
her friends
when they share the latest hook-up
life lesson with the sexual outcast
as she sips a beer, and takes 
notes about life and the curve balls
from those still finding pennies
between the couch cushions
with her because
wake up, this is the actual thirty. 
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The Vanilla Girl

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Watch me.

I am about to speak,

Tap the roof of my mouth

Back of my teeth

With the tip of my tongue,

Every word inching closer

To screwing up

Your approval of me.

 

I was a people-pleaser

Until 25 made me learn

The hard way.

This afternoon,

I wondered aloud about refilling

My Klonopin at CVS.

The cashier raised her eyebrow

As I challenged her response,

But nodded politely while handing

Me my change.

 

One conversation, one guy

said I sounded like a prude.

I corrected him,

“I am a prude,” while walking

away, feeling nothing between us

under darkness and hook-up beats.

 

At almost thirty, I’m sorry-not-sorry,

rolling my eyes at large letters

on a Cosmopolitan magazine

near the check-out line, watch teens

find out they’re slutty but will never

please their man with every page

turned, so keep reading.

I could never finish a page;

I could never understand the game.

 

It’s important that you know this.

 

Because tonight

you’re back again.

And with your head

in my bedroom no less.

When I told you already, I may

Have the word “asexual”

Stamped on my forehead.

See, I am the vanilla girl

Your guy friends talk about.

 

So be kind while losing interest,

It’s not too late to turn around

as I get over you,

the way you hold your shoulders —

 

But You’re. Still. Here…?

 

Okay.

Okay.

But I’ll wait for you to make up your mind.

 

…Later, I’ll say thank you for listening

For staying.

We proved the other wrong.

 

Future Husband:

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I just don’t get

the girls I went to college with–

the social butterflies,

the big, Miami beach personalities,

voices rising higher than champagne bubbles,

as I wondered who taught them how to draw a crowd,

add more lighting to a room

with smiles and fluid gestures.

 

You need to understand this, but I’m not

one of my many obsessions, like the girl

I watched fit in like a geometric piece

in improv club or anywhere else with the right

kind of quirks, or the friend who drank beer,

shouted louder than her guy friends, or the girl with attitude

most likely voted to be the “natural born leader”.

I’m not even the American

sweetheart who gets large tips at a restaurant job

and boyfriends with just a smile and a high pitched voice.

 

No. I am the polar night phenomenon for days

and days in Alaska;

or, the pale gray sky releasing another day of sleet.  I am the student

being told “to smile more” in a seventh grade progress report;

the girl told to “speak louder, I still can’t hear you,” or the five

points subtracted from a oral presentation due to “lack of confidence,”

teachers’ yearly “help her come out of my shell” project

(they always failed).

I am the students advising me not to join the debate team,

among other clubs where introverts need not apply,

reading about the power of my personality

in world that can’t stop talking; too reserved to be

girls gone wild or a male’s Xtube fantasy; I can only

watch the life of the party, suited to absorb lives

in a book while curled on a couch, a safe distance

from sensory overloads on Bourbon.

I’m hurrying home at 5 pm to be alone with the radio

down low, spending nights in white satin and other throwbacks.

I am skipping ads that look for workers with a “can-do”

spirit; I throw away ads that have the word “out-going”.

I’m the twelve year old correcting my mother,

“I’m not pessimistic, just realistic.”

I’m more my mother’s husband’s daughter, expressions

As dark as his skin, final gestures, morose frowns trying

To be as sweet as the Creole princess she hoped for

(not this depressive alternative black girl she was given).

I’m the diagnosis, the medication,

the therapy, the girl that jumbles, mutters, whispers

words, slightly better than my aunt’s non-verbal childhood,

but falling far, far behind.

I’m the moody eyeliner.

The blue lips.

The sullen eyes,

The whatever shrug,

The “please make eye contact,”

The bullies’ target

The weird one because I don’t care for the top 40,

don’t care who in the hell is on Housewives of Whatever,

Wondering what’s the big deal about the homecoming dance.

A blank slate where you draw a personality,

Writing phone numbers but expecting no calls or friendships

(better off anyway, they’ll annoy me).

I’m a broken house divided despite the best of my worst efforts,

Taking my time after the bus ride.

 

I am nothing people chase after.

 

But this is me, being as honest as I can possibly be.

Forgive me,

and thank you for staying.