Saturday, August 14, 2010

Girl Talk

Let me preface this by saying I watched far too many Def Poetry clips on YouTube the other night after bumping into someone from high school. Not to mention I work with quite a few teenaged girlssweet, cute, then out of nowhere catty as all hellthat remind me just why high school can so quickly turn from carefree to traumatic.

So, if you're feeling brave enough to jump into the high school version of my brain, read my poem after the jump. It's called Girl Talk.

Girl Talk

I was lonely, lonely in a way I’m just afraid to say
needing that female bond, that reassurance, that thing

that I’m sorry, boys, you just can’t give me.

But my mom’s been gone for so damn long
and you talk to your brother different than a sister
Why don't I just call my girlfriends and tell them I miss them?

I’m not well-versed in this thing they call Girl Talk.

Understand, I tried, but I spilled all my secrets back in the day
and then this girl, my best friend, my sister—she gave them away

Like they were hers to give, like I didn’t deserve them
So I locked up that part of me, I threw it away

Cause how can I bare my soul to you when you just use it against me?

I talked like a girl, I did the girl talk
I told the girls my secrets, I gave them all my dirt
They swore and they promised

then threw it out, stepped all over my hurt

The words got twisted, my emotions got flipped
Next thing I know, I’m both a cocktease and a cunt
She said that you said that he said that she said

That…Shut the fuck up!
You’re a tramp and a slut!

Tell me what happened
Why you calling me a bitch, bitch?

Can’t say it to my face, you wait till I’ve passed
and call out the names at my back

Girl talk, this.

It’s me, back there, 16 and scared
I tell you a secret then you twist it and flip it
He says I did this, now you think I’m a tramp

So I trusted no girls with my secrets,
ever again!

I saved them all for my mother
Who would never betray my trust
Because my words were her words and hers were mine

Understand? She would listen, and talk out my hurt
If I admitted a fault,
she still saw to my heart

I erased the rest, stepped away from that pack
Because once I gave those girls my secrets
I could never get them back.

But then my mama died
and I’m left with this hole.

18 and alone,
mother-daughter thrown
No friends to be my sisters
No sisters to be girlfriends

Now, that’s kinda a lie
I still had some great girls to talk to

But girl talk could never quite be the same
after I was 16 and changed
by spilling my heart and then getting called out
as if I were the enemy:
the slut, the cunt,
the bitch, the tease,
always on her knees
I heard she fucked him and sucked him
and let him do what to her?

These girls, you girls, you said stuff I didn’t even know

Did I make you feel that low?
I tried so hard to fit in like the rest
But my awkwardness got me called a snob

I wanted to talk to you like I could talk to the boys
I grew up with brothers, so GI Joes were more my kinda toys
You know, I still played with Barbie too
But then Skipper told her I fucked Ken
and she kicked me out of her pink Corvette

So I’m left, again
in this maze of the girl talk
Ladies, we’re supposed to be sisters, friends!
How can we do that when we lie and pretend?
Bitch this, slut that
Slurs on bathroom stalls
Whispers in locker rooms
and no loyalty at all.

Damn, high school sure can be rough.

All this I’m spilling
Cause last night I saw one of them.
This girl I forgot existed
until I saw her again:
Waiting tables, I have to wait on HER
And suddenly I’m 16 again
walking down the high school hall

She waits till I pass, then she throws it at my back:


Oh wait, that’s what happened way back then

I looked in her eyes, I felt the heat on my face
I wondered if she knew this pain I couldn’t erase

That still, if I see girls huddled together,
talking in low whispers
I worry it’s me they’re talking about
For years my heart raced from feeling so out of place
I’d stay up nights hearing those insults, those names

But she didn’t call me a name—
She just smiled, and said,

“How are you?”

So I tried to smile back, and put my teenage self away
I thought of my mother, my cheerleader, my friend
Remembered all the ladies who never betrayed my pain
for another cruel teenager’s gain

Cause girls talk, boys talk, women talk, men talk
Mostly we’re all just trying to sort out our own thing

and after all, a name is just a name.

Girl talk.

No comments:

Post a Comment