To All The Men Who Should’ve Known Better By Fortesa Latifi

To All The Men Who Should’ve Known Better

He is leaning across the table, arm draped across the back of my chair
a whisper in my ear so thick I can taste the last cigarette he smoked.
He is saying the things they always say. That I am so mature. That I am
nothing like the other girls my age. That I understand him and that’s
what’s important. He pulls his car keys out of his pocket and I am still
years away from driving. I’m in the passenger seat and he’s weaving
through traffic too quickly. We try to find a bar where they won’t ID
me but even then, my face is too soft to be anything other than 15.
My heart is too naive to be anything other than a child but I don’t know
this yet. In this moment, I am the girl whose so mature for her age,
who can reach through the years that separate him and I and kiss
him full on the mouth. I can taste the other girls there, the other childhoods
that died on his lips. It Isn’t until I’m 22 that I look around and ask what
the fuck someone my age would want with a 15-year old. And then I remember.
They wanted everything. They wanted everything and they got it easier than
tugging a ripe peach from a bending tree.

By Fortesa Latifi


Fortesa Latifi is a 22-year old poet. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona and calls the desert home. Her first book, This Is How We Find Each Other, was published through Where Are You Press in 2014 and she still can’t believe it. Her work has been featured in Persona, Words Dance, Femrat, Kosovo 2.0, The Rising Phoenix Review, Human Parts, Mend, and is forthcoming in To Write Love On Her Arms. She is currently a contributing editor at Words Dance Magazine. Her second book, We Were Young, is coming out in October 2015. She hopes it reminds you of being young and having lipstick smudged on your teeth.

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