They are placeholders whose thighs never seem to tire,
and lips glossed like a child’s lollipop in pinks and reds,
parade in purchased hair men taste as they watch
their wives asleep and snoring. These are shiny
and less complicated than the ones they have chosen.
Which may be why these men’s hands are unsure how to hold
them and instead grab, in the dark, for themselves.
What took you so long
a grandmother asks a girl. She is barefaced
in penance; slinks her body close enough to
smell roses and feel the cool suede of the aged skin.
She knows there is a breach. Or a sacrifice
in the predictable storyline girl children follow.
But the dress is pretty, all cloud and lace.
Some girls disembowel their permission in private mansions
to be publicly lauded like celluloid jars of genitalia
place the blame on the body and repackage themselves
for grandmothers and husbands in sheets they touch with
blood from the inside of their bitten cheeks and pricked fingertips
to coax the rest of their years. Some sleep with other men in the day.
Under no circumstances can girl children ever run fast
as the hims that pencil them (rarely shade them in)
but they understand well how to hide.