panic - Megan Bealer
I panicked I liked girls
when I saw her pretty smile
and I felt it throb under my Walmart underwear.
On the stairwell in our middle school,
my best friend said,
"We all have those fears. At least
it isn't real."
It's hard even convincing yourself
that it’s real when you’re
boy crazy. But a girl wouldn't call you a whore
when you tell her she hurt you,
and that made the softness in my gut
I kissed a girl on New Year's as the ball dropped
when my boyfriend ignored me.
Her lips tasted like lavender and for a second
I didn't care that he was gone.
At the beach it was a joke,
but I spent hours convincing myself
I was straight,
while scrubbing my red cheeks with water.
At the train station,
with a temporary rainbow pasted on my arm,
the drunk laughed,
"So you're bi?"
and instead of pushing confidence through my jaw
I trembled a shaky, "I don't know."
Sometimes you're a pinkish purple,
sometimes a bluish purple,
sometimes a purple unnamed on crayons,
and sometimes you're 20 years old,
feeling like you've missed your chance to find out.
But the body is not a finish line,
and I no longer panic.