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TWELVE

I am 12 years old

I may never make it to 13

I don’t want to be a woman

I don’t want to wear special pants

I don’t want a snake between my legs

Writhing and hissing

Flicking its tongue past my bellybutton

My sister and my mom tell me “it’s ok”

“Every woman has one”

I don’t want to walk with my sisters

Their heads swaying side to side

Feeling the weight on my pelvis

Not me

I may never make it to 13

I don’t want to be a woman

With a hole cut in my pants

For my new limb to breathe

I don’t want to feed it

Tiny pink mice

“It’s my body!”

“It was mine first!”

That’s what I would tell it

But they say it takes a lot of energy

“You will be tired” they say

“But you will be happy” they say

But I hope I never make it to 13

I don’t want to be a woman

Walking with all my sisters

A sea of us

With the heads bobbing side to side

The weight on my hips

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