what do I do with the boywho snuck his way insideme on my childhood playground?
the day other kids shovedmy body into dirt & christened mehe appeared, boy, wicked
feral, swallowing my stride.the boy who grows my beard& slaps my face when I wax
my mustache. he was there toothe day on Ben's couch, wearingmy skirt, ranking the girls
in class. again, his legs slammingconcrete, my chest heavingwhen we ran from cops
the night they busted the river partyagain when I smashed the jellyfishinto the sand & grinded it down [End Page 242]
to a pink useless pulp. togetherwe watched it throb, open & closebegging for wet. he was there.
I have a boy inside me & I don't knowhow to tell people. like whenthat man held me down & we said no.
& my boy, my lovely boyhe clawed & bit & cried just likewe were back on the dirt playground
scraped wrists & steady poundinghis eyes wide, untilhe stopped making a sound. [End Page 243]
Fatimah Asghar is the writer and creator of the Emmy-nominated web series Brown Girls. She is the author of If They Come For Us and a recipient of a 2017 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship. In 2017 she was listed on Forbes's 30 Under 30 list.