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“i never saw you as a boy”

Words by Tan Arsa Sagara

 

to be seventeen again. a teenager

dreaming about teenage dreams.

it’s okay if you call me a she

as long as you call me yours.

 

i look at your curled fist where you hide

your masculinity. is that for me?

half-cool lake water that we can’t swim in

and love that we can’t drown in. so close

that our hands almost touch.

 

an intricate ritual to land my hand on your

shoulder. “that’s stupid,” i say.

i’d let you ruin me, i mean.

a few nights later we are on my bed and

 

your hand is on my cheekbone and

your words are on my bones. “my girl,”

you say, in an attempt to reject all attraction

that is not shaped like a line.

(but you told your friends you were dating a boy

 

only to blame me for the way their faces twisted.)

princess, you called me. stay quiet and bow to your

groom like a true girl would, i heard. ruin me you did.

300 ways to love and you decided you liked negative

numbers more. when you left you took a part of me

with you. the part that could write love songs

 

and take a breath in between words.

when you leave again, take me with you.

 

to be seventeen again. a teenager dreaming about teenage dreams. it’s okay if you call me a she as long as you call me yours. i look at your curled fist where you hide your masculinity. is that for me? half-cool lake water that we can’t swim in and love that we can’t drown in. so close that our hands almost touch. an intricate ritual to land my hand on your shoulder. “that’s stupid,” i say. i’d let you ruin me, i mean. a few nights later we are on my bed and your hand is on my cheekbone and your words are on my bones. “my girl,” you say, in an attempt to reject all attraction that is not shaped like a line. (but you told your friends you were dating a boy only to blame me for the way their faces twisted.) princess, you called me. stay quiet and bow to your groom like a true girl would, i heard. ruin me you did. 300 ways to love and you decided you liked negative numbers more. when you left you took a part of me with you. the part that could write love songs and take a breath in between words. when you leave again, take me with you.

Tan Arsa Sagara

The author Tan Arsa Sagara

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