And they would say
‘She’s such a hungry girl’ but their faces would not fit their words.
I could see their true thoughts –
It is too much – she wants too much –
Eyes too big for her tiny tummy – she wants more than she can handle.
They forgot that I grew up in a cage,
My fingers and face pressed to the glass walls,
Always breaking the illusion of freedom
To those on the other side, who saw the colourful blood
Pushed from my flesh, till I was blueish pale and sickly.
My stomach was so small, but I knew it could stretch.
Then, I was just planning ahead, Designing dreams for the future.
It was a world that demanded so much
From a girl it would never give to.
You must remember it – don’t you remember
It, love? The incessant chime of
Not good enough
Not pretty enough
Not small enough not quiet enough not sweet enough.
Not enough not enough not enough –
And now I am a woman with a flame in my throat
Spitting back the words they used to bind me.
I never used to feel anything – a void of a child, empty and numb – but now –
But now emotion is my addiction.
I want space and stars and power and pain and pleasure.
I am a fire running through the forest –
Everything is caught in the blaze,
Until I run out of trees to jump to,
Out of green that I can consume.
I am a sandstorm you will not find your way out of –
You can try to run but your feet will sink
Into the desert dunes and
You will disappear into a cloud of dust.
I am the thing that lurks in your shadow –
Something caught in the periphery
It will be too late when you realise –
I will devour you, darling.
This world is never enough – will never be enough.
I will always ache for more, crave it desperately
Like the last few drops shaken violently from the bottle.
They still say
‘Such a hungry girl’ (although I am eighteen with sharp teeth and curved hips)
But hunger is not the word they should crown me with.
It is not a need that can be satisfied or satiated.
It is want, pure and selfish.
An unappeasable appetite.
The word they want (the word I want) is
I have never thought about it in this context
that’s actually really, really creepy.
I once pointed this out to my mother and she just stared at me, in stunned silence for ages.
There will always be a girl who is less sober, less secure, with less friends walking in a darker part of town. I want her safe just as much as I want me safe.
"He wants to go home."
There’s no point to a guy yelling, “Hey sexy baby” at me out of the passenger window of a car as it speeds past. Even if I was into creepy misogynists and wanted to give him my number, I couldn’t. The car didn’t even slow down. But that’s okay, because he wasn’t actually hitting on me. The point wasn’t to proposition me or chat me up. The only point was to remind me, and all women, that our bodies are his to stare at, assess, comment on, even touch. “Hey sexy baby” is the first part of a sentence that finishes, “this is your daily message from the patriarchy, reminding you that your body is public property”.