other ways to love By sarah kate osborn

other ways to love

the first boy to touch her was almost twice her age she was eleven and afraid and she thought that this is what men were supposed to be like
she was looking for her mother in the grocery store and
he told her he couldn’t wait til she was older
and she smiled because she thought she was supposed to

at thirteen, the girls in her class grew jealous
because their bodies didn’t move this fast
their skin didn’t curve in the right places
the boys looked at her longer than they ever had
and whispered that they’d find her after class

the teacher told her boys would be boys and so
at fourteen she let them have all the little pieces of her
because it was easier than waiting for robbery

by sixteen, she was sleeping with half the basketball team
just because it hurt and she needed
so badly, to feel something, anything
and they all said they had something to give her
so she took it all

she was eighteen and still thought love was the same thing as
empty beds and broken teeth and everything red
she spent the night in unfamiliar beds and never left an imprint

twenty-one and no one ever taught her that there were easier ways to do this
other ways to live with yourself without clawing at your skin just to get it off your body
no one said that she was someone without her boys
and that there are ways to say love without wandering hands and bruises.

By sarah kate osborn


sarah kate osborn is an amateur poet from north carolina who hates describing herself and rebels against capital letters. she is trying to toss her voice into a world already filled with noise and may have nothing meaningful to say. she has been published/is soon to be published in the rising phoenix review and words dance magazine. can be found at allthesinkingships.tumblr.com

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