my girlhood is defined by
what can be seized from me,
body sowing a war since birth.
to be a girl is to swallow loss, it seems.
to slicken the inside of your throat
and eat your own erosion.

so i knead blood into cloth before
day pilfers the dawn. i cork my mouth
with a browned marrow of apple. i am
the head of snake between my thighs.
i take and i take and i take from myself
until finally, i become.





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Shirley Wang occupies a small space in northern California, where she sinks herself in poetry, prose, and art. She is fascinated with unconventional narratives and Renaissance art history.

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