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Dictionary Entries

By Jasmine Kapadia

( @jazzymoons )

when i say girl, and they take it to mean

  1. a shortness of breath,

  2. oiled eyelids or 

  3. crickets piled at the back of the throat

  4. a confession

  5. puckered lips full of cherry blossoms.

when i say girl, and i mean

  1. making a nameless god out of emptiness,

  2. city pop dreaming

  3. second-day trifle licked off fingers

  4. finding glitter under your fingernails and

  5. blood under your pillowcase

when i say me, and i mean neither of these versions, or i mean both,

or i mean here, because somehow the child survives her own hand twisting her roots

out of the soil, somehow she stitches together the cracks in the bottoms of her feet.

weary breaths inverted, 

she says i will say grace now, she says blow me up into the sky,

i will be here every night for you to peer at. 

she holds alcohol in her mouth and they get tipsy just looking at her.

when she says girl and she only means

  1. soft bone

  2. cartilage

  3. this gentle animal body of hers

and this time they have no meaning to give us

  1. if you peel the fuzzy skin of a peach back

  2. there is just nail polish


Author's Note-

Gender and gender expression is a spectrum. Though I personally am certain I identify with she/her pronouns, my own femininity and girlhood is something I have found fascinating for quite a while. There are so many iterations and versions of what it means to be "a girl," and this poem explores a few of them.

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