Explaining Girlhood To A Boy Who Has Never Been There

by Clementine von Radics

It’s like this weird time when everyone sees you as a meal they can help themselves to, but not like a good meal, like, a sugary, stuck-in-your-teeth kinda thing. I don’t know, the way I remember it is like a steam-colored dream. I don’t know, maybe I’m just a special kind of lonely. All my life I’ve seen the hollow in everything. I pick up the house I grew up in and throw it over my shoulder like it’s nothing. But the girls I was girls with, there was such a tender ritual, even in our sleep. We practiced putting on lipstick. I held Sarah’s hand and painted her nails and her warmth felt to me like a hot curling iron on the back of my neck. We practiced kissing on the backs of our hands and slept all skinny limbs and heat and wanting something we could not name.

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