A Girl Like Me

By Izzy Gravano, TIWP student

I think about the girl in Texas, or Georgia, or Alabama,

sitting in the back of her Latin class,

hiding behind her headphones,

and her braces, and glasses and frizz.

We aren’t that different.

But she doesn’t dare put a bumper sticker on her car

that would indicate that she would want a woman to be her leader

because she has to pick her battles.

And she has dreams like mine,

dreams to change the world so girls like her,

and me,

don’t have to feel the worst kind of heartache,

the kind that follows disappointment.

She is told by her math partner that learning is stupid.

“That’s ironic,” she thinks.

She is told by her vice principal that harassment

just comes along with being a woman.

She hears “gay” as an insult more times in a day than she can count.

For a while she would lie in bed at night,

staring up at the ceiling.

She imagined it was a glass ceiling, slowly cracking.

With every crack she could see more and more

of the world she wanted to live in.

And then one fateful day,

it mysteriously strengthened again.

She felt like she had been slapped in the face,

punched in the gut, grabbed by the pussy.

So now she feels like she can’t do it.

She feels like maybe they’re right.

Maybe she is worthless.

She goes through her routine, defeated.

Drowned out by the idiots who believe they are superior.

Part of her knows they aren’t.

But the other part has somehow gained strength.

She’s a fighter.

But it’s hard for her to fight when she feels

like there is no one on her side.

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