Girlish Nothings

I will vomit up what makes me a girl
            as he strips me of infidelity
and fingernails cut at my insides –

I tell people I throw up
            three times a day. My eating disorder
is as existent as what is believed

to be in my stomach when he speaks –
            nothing. For now I am bleeding
unlike a girl should –

loudly and all together,
            retching his words out of my system
to become the girl I wish to be –

unbled and with rounded edges –
            A softness my mind has been incapable
of achieving. Like stuffing in a bottle of lemonade and vodka.

And when I have drank enough
            to scream with every will left in me
I am sent home unbridled,

similarly to regurgitate
            memories I couldn’t fathom.
Talking to him is the worst form of ketamine

that could be slipped in my drink –
            and the most impermeable disguise
on my countenance the morning after.

Audrey Lee is an 18-year-old senior at The Episcopal Academy in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, and will be attending Franklin and Marshall College this coming fall. She is a 30-time regional winner of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and the winner of the 2016 DeSales University poetry contest. She has attended the University of Virginia Young Writers Workshop and the Ithaca Writers Institute, and edits her school literary magazine, The Epolitan. Her work has been featured in or is forthcoming from The Claremont Review, Rookie, YARN: The Young Adult Review Network, Canvas Literary Journal, Moledro Magazine, and Blue Marble Review.

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