after kim addonizio and olivia gatwood
i will admit the shallowness of my twelve year old melancholy,
that it was born from an obsession with bella swan and the protagonist of many other teen novels.
i just wanted to be someone people worried about
it seemed like the easiest way to be loved.
so my mother, as they often are, was right
i wasn’t the real thing.
my tears were not born from instinct or tragedy,
my skipped meals did not come naturally,
i didn’t even really like the way black nail polish looked against my skin,
it was just the only way i knew to be noticed.
but somewhere down the line i fell in love with the silence of being a walking over cast,
and turned into one of them.
spent autumn of 2013
hating my best friend and trying to be her at the same time,
i hated the way her thighs never touched and how no one ever separated our names.
and though i was happy to be remembered
i resented the way my name always came after hers
everything sad has happened in the fall,
it’s why it became my favorite season.
and when you’ve been an imposter for this long,
no one cares about the truth.
i was the girl who called wolf
only i wasn’t afraid of being murdered,
i was afraid of being forgotten.
so maybe none of it was my fault.
the woman i am now knows it was a sin of a lonely teen girl,
i forgive her for all of it.
Maleah Hatcher is a poet, actress, musician, and visual artist based in Atlanta, Georgia. Her writing focuses on topics such as girlhood, feminism, the African American experience, and domestic violence. She has been a part of numerous productions and workshops including the Bechdel Project and has been trained in play writing, ceramics, and directing. She co wrote and starred in the 2115 Production’s short film TWELVE about police brutality. She is featured on Lord Vizion’s 2018 album Beautiful Music that has been streamed in over 17 countries. You can find her on twitter @malpoems and contact her @email@example.com.
Photography by: Mink Mingle