to all the boys.
TW: mentions of r*pe, manipulation, and ab*use
when I was 14, I dated a boy
with caramel eyes and a smile that could melt iron
if I saw him now
I’d ask if he's had his ears checked
so, the next time a girl says stop
he hears it.
when I was 16, I knew a boy
with dimples so deep
I could still see them in the photo he sent me
with a knife to his throat
when I told him I didn't like him.
when I was 17, I dated a man
20, with two cars and
a psychology degree
he told me not to copy his dreams, as if
I hadn't wanted to do psychology since I was 12
his tone was condescending
when he called me smart.
when I was 18, I decided I'd had enough
and left the small town filled with bad memories
but when I got too high in a bed that wasn't mine
with a man too drunk to realise I wasn't participating
I realised I was not invincible.
when I was 19, I thought I loved a boy
with blue eyes and a warm heart
but his words were cold
when he said my trauma was a red flag
as if it made me weak.
to all the boys who treated my body and heart
like the terms and conditions
feigning concern to get access but never listening
to what I had to say,
I have moved the mountains of trauma you left behind
I threw out the razors and put down the bottles
and I moved city after city, alone and free.
you were all right, I am many things
but I am not weak.
I’m 20 now
freer than I've ever been
I love a man who writes songs about me
whose heart feels like home.