Too low toilets, sandy plastic, first-grader size.
Someone forgot about middle school girls, skyscrapers
overnight. It’s the only place on campus without
cameras, unexpected refuge for resting bitch faces.
A girl Jackson Pollocks the second stall, spatter
of crimson, daub of marigold. Girls meet
by the sink, squads with Swiss bank secrecy,
witches’ covens, weird sisters in crop tops,
just thirteen but bitches, divas, and sluts already
according to boys whose baby faces belie dirty
mouths fed on fast food and TikTok. Girls discuss
what to do when a boy stalks, makes comments
about her vagina, like he has rights to a pussy
time-share, wants to complain to the HOA.
They’ve reported the boys a few times. It’s not fair –
no one ever says oh well, girls will be girls.
One of the divas scrawls a threat, smudged blue ink
underneath hearted initials, in a small corner.
The threat is not credible, thank goodness, decide
police and principal when they find her. She says
she was just mad, knows violence isn’t the answer,
accepts her punishment. But, the squad still seethes,
records slights from little boys, records assaults
from the Supreme Court, the bitches bear
witness. Hurricanes churning in the gulf,
just offshore, they gather the kind of girl-power
you can’t put on a damn t-shirt.
Zia Wang is Indian American and part of the third generation of her family from East Africa. She completed her undergraduate degree in English at Princeton University and her medical degree at NYU. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, Drunken Boat, and SWWIM among others. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she practices psychiatry, writes, and lives with her husband, two daughters and an orange cat.