The Way Grass Grows

P1000676Looking back

I feel as though her chest was flat

As though her thundering thighs were wide as her eyes

As though she could have screamed louder

Looking back

She did not understand what she was gambling when she trusted the words red light

When she trusted his hands on her

Looking back…

But our unheld hands, our ungrazed skin, had not yet felt that sin

And the game began…

Ruffling our fingers along their palms

Green light

Gliding our hands along their fore arms

Green light

Feigning away from the foreign touch

Green light

Grasp their shoulder

Green light

Eyes wide with a smile

….green light

Hesitation, unearthing their moral compass

Suction cup their peanut butter and craft glue hand to the face of their accomplice, who often licked it to their own demise

This was the grade school game of red light

I took part

Fast forward several years

To a tile hallway

Three children sit on the ground between empty glass display cases,

She sits next to a boy with hands that haven’t touched craft glue in years

She sits next to a girl who had come to be her “best friend”

She knew friend had a crush on boy

Who’s hands had not touched craft glue

She knew this

She thought he liked friend too

Friend who’s chest had grown much earlier than her own

It only made sense

A game of red light began

She had not played since the days in the school yard haze of innocence

giggles erupted from blushing faces

But His hand did not go to friend

But latched on to her

His fingers like a vice

Her face light up redder than any light

She played along

Green light

His hand held her knee

Forbidding her

Friend got up to leave

She jumped up too

He pressed her to the honored glass

Her dishonored skin

Her screams muffled by his lips

Friend disappeared through heavy metal doors into the open air

What do boys do in the time after peanut butter and craft glue, how to they grow to be…

His hand had reached the black elastic shorts she wore beneath her skirt

Her mouth fumbled

Her heart raced

Tears streamed from her cheeks

She could not remember the words to end the game

She did not yet understand that this was not a game

She did not yet understand that red light was a children’s book image

To which the answer was stop

But that word did not come

She slipped out from under him and ran

Her backpack slapped her back

Her feet slapped the pavement

as she ran as fast as she could

He was faster

Pinning not her to a cinder block wall

She was sure the paint peeling behind her back

Was the building cringing at her new grip on reality

He gripped once more where he had left off

She remembered the words

He said he couldn’t hear her

His fingers slipped between her legs

His other hand gripped her ass

His weight crushed her chest

She could feel the rubble in her rib cage

But maybe it was just the paint peeling inside her

She ran once more

This time he overcame her in a field

Pinning her to the dead grass

She closed her eyes and imagined that the sharp grass hurt worse than he did

She imagined that the coarse blades burnt more than his hands

She told her self

“it’s just the way grass is

It was just way grass grows”

Photo Source: Anonymous

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