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tahamina / janis ian


Dishevelled low pony because an Ariana one hurt.

Eyes bald, though smoky with caffeine-sedated circles.

“You’re not like the other girls,” I muttered by your ear,

and we gagged, for we sounded like that couple.

Recess warranted our perpetual rendezvous, but not

that clandestine. No one cared about us anyway.

Cavorting with self-deprecation we arrowed our flaws.

You the fat girl no boy wanted, I that f*ggot.

One day the geeks will inherit the earth, you declared.

My manicured pinky entangled with yours. A boy who

celebrated Barbie and a girl who unrequitedly loved her.

Built a fortress of a dollhouse, alone against the world.

Shaun Loh is a Singaporean poet based in North Carolina. His creative works have been published in down in the dirt and An Atelier of Healing: Poetry about Trauma and Recovery. Elsewhere, his essays and op-eds have been published in South China Morning Post (Young Post) and the Harvard Kennedy School Singapore Policy Journal.

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