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the woman graces me

(with her presence).

by Bekah

the woman graces me (with her presence).


i grind my teeth at night, sometimes consciously, but always teeth on teeth, bone on bone; hoping they’ll fall into nothingness and bring me


with it. i sleep fitfully, the walls groaning under the swell of an incessant heat wave. my eyes break at every groan, stiff


with fear and longing. in my dreams, i am being held by a woman,


her skin soft and milky under the moon’s thin grin. another night, she is framed by a devilish halo of curls and prickly amber skin. 


sometimes she stands against a brick wall, hands swallowing the fabric of my shirt, forcing my breath out in short, stiff gasps; her head, arching


bald and tall, like what my parents would call a ‘dyke’. i call her that, and she just laughs and laughs, 


a caucus sound that sits in my ears and fills me with dread for the whole day. that next night, i slip into a dream—the moon is a yawning hole in the sky—


swollen with claustrophobia from sapphic writing of peach-pink lips and regional dialects. when i meet her, 


she presses a hand into mine; for a moment, our veins yield to rigor mortis, yield to the divine damnation of us. i press my lips against her skin—


shallow, shaking, unsure—


and am met with vengeful teeth; the woman,


my mother, 


her face uncommonly pinched with steely anger, deranged by the thought of me with another woman. i spin awake, awake, awake. the sun has come and gone; 


it is night again. a feverish nightmare fills me, visions of every girl i have loved dance before me, just out of reach. 


when she comes, she is wearing virginal white. i choke out a sob, reach for her skin, collide with violent


violet hair, wet from my tears. she holds me, a familiar ache shrouded by foreign skin;


two girls clothed with nothing but shame. 


Bekah is a rising high school senior from Texas. She is active in science, technology, engineering and math programs, but has had a passion for writing since age eight, most recently being published in Body Without Organs literary journal. Bekah’s writing focuses on learning to document the good and beautiful things, while still giving space to healing and heartbreak. 

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