When Your Body Was a Token

by The Cowl Editor on September 3, 2021




I was fifteen years old when I decided I could handle the weight of being “sexy” for their love. 

I could put on the right clothes, give the right looks, say just the right things––– 

until they couldn’t get enough of me, trapping them in my prose.  


I was fifteen years old when I convinced myself I was ready to bare it all for their love. 

They looked at me like I was pure Mayan gold, shiny new treasure they could break in, they could treat me like I deserved because I did not know the value of my body. 


I was fifteen years old when they reached inside and took all that I had to offer them, 

their hands were tainted red, blood trickling the sheets, blood trickling our time,  

I tried to keep the noises down, the moaning––the pain, this was love, love, love.  


I was fifteen years old when there was nothing left to keep us tethered.  

There was something wrong––the only place they still told me they loved me was when we were entangled in red sheets and I was in the act of proving that this was love, love, love.  


I can still feel the bruises on me.  

The pain of fingers gripping onto flesh, 

scraping walls, tearing walls, wounding walls.  

But that was love, love, love.  


I’m twenty now and I don’t know how to be “sexy” for any love.  

I don’t know how to move my body––oh, how I hate to hate my body!  

There are no right clothes, no right looks, no more sticky prose.  


When your body was a token––a ticket to someone’s love, 

it’s hard to remember how to be anything else.  

It’s been so long.  

I wish I could remember.