We stole cigarette butts,
lit them like candles
looking cool on the way out.

We took turns
tearing our hymens
by accident, ripping holes in jeans
to finger their soft furry mouths—
our holy parts
newly parted.

We blessed swimming pools,
roller rinks,
and dew.

Like wild colts,
we broke ourselves
hopping chain-link fences—
our frayed flags,
flapping hair behind us.

And the boys chased,
the whistles blew.
Dandelions among the weeds;
we’d be plucked eventually.

To think
our parents prayed,
tearful in their beds,
not knowing
if we’d survive
the mourning.

Jan Saenz is passionate about challenging norms and straddling genres in her writing. She lives in Houston with her husband and two children. She has been featured on The Fem and is in queue to be published by Paper Darts later spring. She is also working on her third novel.

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