girl gang or mass funeral

by Haddiyyah Ali

every girl I know has a collection of dead things.

boys are loud,
messy even.
makes them faint. makes them run
and tell.
they think everything that hurts deserves a scene.

but us girls, we know better.
we be catacomb
we be scream into pillow,
choke on the fibers,
teeth-and tears-and snarl,
under every floorboard.

us girls, we be magician.
disappear a body, into a body, into a
dress and make it smile a pretty pretty smile
over the stench of rotting flesh. clench everything so tight everything rattles

but us girls, we never make a sound.
us girls, we be mourning.
we speak the same grief.

we speak the same grief.
and it’s all pursed lips and darting eyes,
girl code they call it.
the way i look at you, and you look at me, and we know.
the way we hold each other between sunrise and wet soil.
the way we closed our eyes last summer became undone and whole and felt nothing at all.

just like the things we bury.

Haddiyyah Ali is an abolitionist, freelance opinion writer, and emerging poet. Her creative nonfiction has been featured in the Long River Review and the Black Muslim Reads anthology.

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