“Twenty years ago” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday November 12, 2019
5 minutes
The Unspeakable Things Between Our Bellies
Lidia Yuknavitch

Twenty years ago I was thirteen

wearing overalls to hide the breasts I never asked for
plaid shirts from Gap Kids
hair down my back
I’d read the whole young adult section at the
Beaches Public Library
Knew that words were my salvation
scribblers overflowing crushes and mood swings
back and forth and scrambled and fried
poems and letters and finding who I was
in the ringed pages through the blue ballpoint
I was hiding more than my body
balled up underwear in the corners under the bed
balled up wrappers in the bedside table drawers
Who teaches the art of hiding to the young one
with traces of purple mascara
Ill matched concealer belonging to some old lady
covering barely there but so so there pimples
Smelling of Clearasil and soy chocolate pudding

I hid to chrysalis myself
shroud myself in all the flimsy layers
in these tender years of temptation and agony
awkwardness and emotion and longing

I hid to be sought by someone who might save me

the only option I’d been given at the time to consider was
a man
the one in the jagged little fantasy ripped from the Rolling Stone
glued to the collage on the wall of my basement bedroom