Let Us Be Free

by Alex B.

towels hide tangled hair

hide another marking of girl

eyes downcast

don’t look down

lest we see

what lies beneath

the names that they call us

feminine, sweet, soft

not us

and your smiles curving upwards when you call

we aren’t allie

or ellie

don’t assume that we are

please ask us


we are souls in the wrong shells

hiding our chests under thick coats

let us just wear

what we need

we are screams clawing at the throat

begging to be released

when i was 13

we bleed

when we “become women”

we too bleed

from our thighs, our wrists 

when we are denied, told we lie

try and believe

let us cut our hair

try and care

oh god

just let us be free

we don’t want to bleed