Growing Up Wrong
You were not wrong in first grade
when Jordan Marshall gave you an ultimatum
and you chose to kiss him
so he would finally stop chasing you.
You were not wrong in fifth grade
when you decided to explore your body
in ways no one would talk about,
even though your step-dad caught you
and taunted you.
You didn’t know what a lesbian was,
but the way his accusations danced around you
made you feel like it was the dirtiest thing you’d ever be called.
You were not wrong in sixth grade
when you wanted to go out with Derek Dunn,
and his response was to tell the entire grade
that you were too flat-chested,
so he’d fuck you and run.
You were not wrong in seventh grade
when you pushed your boyfriend away
every time he stuck his tongue in your mouth.
You were not a bad girlfriend
for trusting yourself more than you trusted him.
You were not wrong in eleventh grade
when you couldn’t stop thinking about Danielle Bakerson,
about how your entire life changed when you saw her in the school play,
even though your best friends abandoned you
and made sure you knew you were a “disgusting lesbian.”
You were not wrong in your final teenage year
when you wanted to take your shirt off at the beach
and change your name to reflect your essence,
even though your childhood friends told you
they didn’t agree with who you were
as if your personhood were up for debate.
You have never been wrong,
for you have been taught that your body is not your own.
You have been cornered and poked and prodded and shamed.
You have been made to feel like you were made for someone else,
for anyone else,
for everyone else.
you were made for you
and those who made you feel otherwise
have wronged you.