your breasts began to grow around the
initialled gold necklace that
your uncle had bought you for your
your body could be divided into handfuls
you wrote in your diary a lot about how
you felt like you were going to explode.
there were nights when womanhood left you feverish
you ached across a childish bed like a shameful secret
as though all the blood leaving your body would kill you soon
and no, you didn’t have an older sister to speak to and
your mother was busy being strong.
it was that same year when you began to count
the stretch marks on your hips
like they were a tally of surviving
when you began to measure your thighs
with two open palms, when you learnt how to
throw up at night, begging the body back to innocent.
your lips became two halves of something
you couldn’t open
no one warned you about how girls voices also change
there was nothing to prepare you for it
how some words would feel dirty in your mouth
how you would shy away from calling your father