why do you twirl your hair
when you talk to boys
why do you talk softly
in the school bathroom stalls
to other girls
about other girls
through your drugstore lipstick lips

why do you keep secrets
like they are the only things
that could make you laugh
why do you spread rumors
that taste like vinegar on your tongue
when the next person passes it along
an eternal flame
it doesn't cease to exist
but the rumor will continue to flicker
even if it changes shape

tell me
what will make my butt bigger
and my hips smaller at the same time
what will make my stomach flatter
and my thighs smaller
what will make my teeth whiter
and my lips redder
what will make my eyelashes longer
and my eyebrows fuller
what will make my hair longer
and my skin tanner
what will make me look better
what will make me look
like you?

hair pulling
eyeliner smudges
bathroom locks

phone call to mom
from school
from your house
from the sleepover
i want to go home
because you make me mad
and sad
because you are a girl
and i am a girl
so let's just hate each other
is it easier than liking each other?

trembling hands
shaky breaths
cruel text messages
hot tears

long hugs
from mom
who is sometimes
my only friend

why are you girls
so mean to each other
she asks me
what did they say this time?
what did you say?

did you get your period yet
what size bra are you

i haven't
i'm still in training bras

do you still have your American girl dolls
how come you haven't kissed a boy yet

yes and
you said yesterday
i'm too fat and ugly
for any boy to want to kiss me
or even like me

messy hair
flushed skin
red face
puffy eyes

which friend made you cry this time
asked mom

phone screen glare
blue light on your face
smiling with one half of your mouth
and your keyboard clicks
but you don't know i can see
everything you're saying
about her
and her
and her
and me


you should get rid of all that acne
boys don't like it when you do that
boys don't like it when you wear that

why are you such a loser
you should go out more often
if you don't drink
no one will really talk to you

text messages
instagram likes
ring tones

who got invited to the party
who didn't
will you be there for me?
isn't that what friends are for?
who do you like
please don't tell anyone
oh yeah i like him
but he likes you

you're so pretty
shut up no i'm not

why'd she make her cry
what did i say this time
what did i do wrong this time

just so you know you can be really
want to go to the mall tomorrow?