Nothing that bad happened to me. Certainly nothing out of the ordinary. I was lucky. I wasn’t raped. I wasn’t sexually assaulted. At most, I was sexually harassed. Cross out at most. I was. And even that is so complex and equivocal and tenuous.
A trace of her hair tucked away, his skin
beneath her nails. Each square reminded him
of hopscotch. Her head like a tetherball. What kind
entitled little shits
With her new magic, she makes you
If I had to describe myself at twenty, this is what I would write.
A hyper-verbal, defensive, funny, and skinny skate betty. A poet, thin-skinned and capable, ambitious and in love with the idea of love. A lonely girl from a big family who was open to everything and acutely aware that, at any moment, the next man I met could be the one to change my life.
Before reading this essay about accessing appropriate health and wellness care as a sex worker I’m going to ask you to reflect on your own relationship to othering—perpetuating, witnessing and surviving it—and how it has impacted your health.
We, women, grew hungry, ate
from a pile of unassuming, pleasant rocks. They fell
down our throats, slipped into the blankness of our bodies.
This is a game for girls: putting a hat
on the cat, putting pants on
the cat, drawing a turkey by tracing
her hand. Little girls like cats.
I don’t remember much
of the train, but I remember William
who gave me his engraved
penknife at the station
When I finish my first book,
I wonder who'll blurb the
my father landed
upside my head.
“An unforgettable voice
Currently on Newsstands
Room 41.4, Emergence
Edited by Alissa McArthur
In this issue:
Tharuna Abbu, Farah Ali, Kristin Bjornerud, Michelle Chen, Nomi Chi, Morgan Christie, Kim Fu, Hannah Graff, nancy viva davis halifax, Ceilidh Isadore, Liz Kellebrew, Jo Lee, Kris Ly, Melanie Mah, Sara Mang, Katie McGarry, Estlin McPhee, Triin Paja, Loghan Paylor, Nagmeh Phelan, Oubah Osman, Lisa Rawn, Yvonne Robertson, Erika Thorkelson, Cara Waterfall.