Why do we have to be our own worst enemies, ladies?

a gaze blank and pitiless as the sun

somehow we started talking about girl on girl aggression,
how starting young we divide and conquer ourselves,
exiling those who don’t follow unwritten dress codes,
and others with bodies that bloom too soon and glorious,

or those who say too much about fairness or justice.
it’s shameful how we act as patriarchal gatekeepers
at nine and eleven and seventeen, gleeful and righteous
as we embroider bloody As on innocent chests, pouring

poison into ears primed for it, spraying it over the internet,
spitting the toxic brew on our friends and allies in a mist
disguised as sugar kisses. all this struggle over the fickle
interest of bromancing boys seduced by games that will

never include us. perhaps we have earned, now, our lives
of quiet alienation, our empty houses, our pecking card parties
where -- gray and bent, shuffling alone toward oblivion -- we
hide behind cold smiles, dealing each other losing hands.

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