For Girls Who Say They’re Not Like Other Girls by Ren Martinez

Don’t tell anyone you’re not like other girls

Words tossed forward like a pair of loaded dice

Meant to cheat others out of being genuine

Don’t cite your lack of makeup or your combat boots

Or how you wear self-loathing like a cross around your neck

Worshipping yourself as a broken god

Don’t talk about how you’re just one of the guys

Circling a line around yourself in salt and sarcasm

Away from the creeping taint of menstrual blood

And obligations that have been ground into your bones since birth

There are already lines drawn in the sand and in our skin

Marked for scorn by breasts that we never really wanted (even when we did)

The sway of hips that are branded for a singular purpose

Until we are reduced to the inner lining of a uterine wall

Waiting for fulfillment in other people’s expectations

Don’t say that you’re not like other girls

You’re nothing but a mirror fractured by doubt and desire

And a million other girls refusing to look at each other

Desperate to be nothing like the rest


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