Writing (I do that too)

My grandmother was a writer too, so here I am.

The first four of these pieces were published in various issues of The Rational Creature. The rest are just here. 

cw: sexual assault, bodies

 

necessary precautions

you can make all the right steps
make as many pro and con lists as can fit in your notebook
watch as many tutorials on youtube
you can cut your hair short with the scissors in your drawer
you can eat a pint of ben and jerry’s
fuck someone stupid
and you will still feel sick.
you will feel a stampede of elephants rumbling in your stomach
and every time you put your head down
you will get sinus headaches
because you’ve run out of tissues
and you wont stop shaking
your body will be weak
your mind will be foggy
and your heart will hurt
I did everything right
and i am broken
in so many places

break

when you are breaking apart
when your ribs are only being held in your torso
by the feathers in the down pillow
reaching around your back like long soft fingers
that’s when you know
this is the feeling they warned you about
discovering the truth breaks
greater than any glass shattered by bullet
realizing that all you thought to be true
was not a lie after all
but rather
more
than you could have ever imagined

little slut

when you hold my hand
and kiss my forehead
but wont call me yours
i am
okay
but
when the only thing you’ll call me is
your little slut
i wonder why it turns me into clay that you can mold
maybe it’s because at least
i’m being called
some thing.
because being called
some thing.
is better than being nothing at all
after all
it’s the role i was made to play
when i was first called sexy at 13 in my math class
when in the same year on crutches and brace faced
i was whistled at on a carnival cruise ship
standing next to my father
(also on crutches)
who never said anything
when at 8 i first saw a woman take off her clothes 
in front of a cheap camera
(for educational purposes
i wanted to know how to do it, so i wouldn’t be caught off guard the day i was expected to)
and my mother told me it was because she had a bad life
was uneducated
was unhappy
i just wanted to know how to do it
no wonder it turns me on to be owned
i’ve been training my whole life

inspired by the article Becoming Ugly by Madeline Davies

every morning i wake up earlier than i’d like
i clean my face
toner
serums
oils
moisturizer
the works
i think it’s fun
it gives me a routine
makes my skin smooth, no roughness to touch
no warning signs in the form of red bumps
no one fears my face
(because whether i think it is fun or not)
i work every day to make sure they don’t.
so why is it that when i say
excuse me
or
pardon me
or
i’m sorry
they talk over me like apologies are silence
like my breath didn’t reach their ears
i’ve worked my whole life to be smooth
but when i watched a journalist from teen vogue
speaking against trump on fox news
and they told her she should “stick to writing about thigh high boots”
because of her blown out hair
because of her eyeliner
because of her manicure
they wont listen to words when they’re coming out of lips covered in revlon.
they taught me
warriors don’t have time to moisturize
so i will become what they fear
i will dig my manicured nails into my cheeks
and peel my flesh back to reveal sinew and teeth
i will rub my eyes until my mascara circles them and makes me look bruised (because that’s what i am)
i will pull the trimmed tresses out of my head so hard
patches of my brain will show
maybe then they will see i can think too
i have the mechanism
i will so aggressively be NOT what they made me
they will do nothing but stare
maybe they’ll listen to ugly
maybe they’ll listen to a monster
maybe then i’ll sleep a little later

to that boy

i hope you never have a daughter
but if you do
i hope she doesn’t think you’re a hero
i hope she sees how weak you are
i hope she sees how you look at women walking by
i hope she meets a woman you’ve raped
i hope she’s not her mother
i hope she doesn’t let you carry her
i hope her first word is no
i hope when you tell her to put on a dress she tells you to take off your mask
i hope every day when you reach for her hand, she recoils
i hope every time you extend your heart to her you are met with steel walls
i hope she can see you for what you are
you know
maybe if you had a daughter, you would learn
maybe you would change
i hope you have a daughter

a list of triggers: some may surprise you

the smell of movie theater popcorn
some escalators
the whistle of a tea kettle
the smell of jasmine
some hand holds
the refrain of a kendrick lamar song
walking west on the north side of 17th street
a corner room with windows
crooked silverware
mac and cheese (the fancy kind)
smiling

thinking about my body

there are days when i run so fast my thighs chafe
and leave scars
there are days when the ground under the tracks on my cheeks rise up
and turn the color of a starburst fire sky
there are days when i bend over and my stomach multiplies in threes
there are days when i eat popcorn in the movie theater and later that day find leftover snacks in my bra
i did not put them there, and i did not feel them there
and i will say
thank you,
thank you for utilizing every negative space
thank you for creating mountains on my torso so someone will have peaks and valleys to climb on
thank you for dying my face pink and leaving pathways to remind me of everything i have felt, sometimes i forget
thank you for leaving scars between my legs
because whenever i look down
i will always remember
how far i have run

©2018 by Bella Grace Harris. Proudly created with Wix.com

  • Facebook
  • Instagram