That’s How It Is

(Photo by Maeve Scully Photography)


darkness plays on darkness

and we pretend we don’t hear

we don’t feel

we don’t know

and that’s how it is.


and the questions 

without question marks

where were you

why

what were you wearing

why

what were you thinking

why

why

why

they start and don’t stop 

and that’s how it is.



mothers’ daughters

who might one day

hold daughters 

and fear for their own different 

dark corners and fuzzy lights. 

and that’s how it is. 


and the act of walking 

home 

alone

in the dark

is a sentence

a line crossed

a fault

because you are a girl 

and he is a boy 

being a boy

and that’s how it is.


lips that drip poison

persuasion

pleading

and another set 

unable to form no

and that’s how it is.



our bodies are our own

until he gets drunk

then the lines are blurred

and smudged 

mascara 

flows

and that’s how it is. 


and I heard a girl

tell a girl 

to just not think about it

that it was okay

but it wasn’t 

and we knew it. 

and we dried her tears

with pieces of hope and 

easy words.

and that’s how it is.



we ignore

and pretend

it’s not real

it doesn’t happen here

it will never happen to me

until it is 

and it does

and it could

and that’s how it is. 



words are not

suggestions

pushes are not

green lights 

nothing is not

yes

do you hear me 

but that’s not how it is. 






O.A.

photo by: Maeve Scully

[pronouns are replaceable at your own discretion; 
this is from my personal perspective]

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