Something about the way I feel tastes familiar. Yeah, my teeth have settled into this bite before. I think I ate this same vague and ever-hopeful disappointment when I was a bony preteen. Then there were a number of boys for whom I kindled painful, one-sided infatuation- unrequited crushes that shrunk me, hunched my spine. But even as I kept that posture, vertebrae bowing down, ribs pinching in, I grew a fortified funny bone. And that made me stronger.
Eventually, I was pretty. Often average, occasionally beautiful. Boys would smile at me, and I was no longer ragged with desperate energy. The teeth that had gnawed raw my cuticles I’d now flash in flirty grins. I would make the boys laugh then toss my hair, because I knew I was sharp and funny, and now they knew too. But I always outpaced the boys, quick with my tongue, quick with my lips. Because I remembered how I had shrunk next to them, and fuck that.
But now I have that same taste in my mouth, and I realize my bones are not unbendable, unbreakable. I reinforced my skeleton, yes. But I was a fool to think I was more than a collection of pieces, waiting to be wrenched into component parts by someone with the right tool. I found someone as fast as I am. He is quick with his smile, his tongue, his hands.
He disassembled me quite handily, and I am apart.