Gaia Rajan

Poem Inside A Locker Room

Golden Shovel from the Access Hollywood tapes

Girl, this is how you die the first time. Just
ten minutes behind a locker. This kiss
could turn a daughter to grave. Girl, I
am bad at forgiveness, I kiss my monsters, I don’t
believe in safety. They say this is what men need, even
the good ones. In this version, the snake doesn’t wait
to strike. The world is a cavern of mouths, and
you, you are bone-chewed, porous, more gape than girl. When
it begins the other boys hide. Your hide. Girl, you’re
a woman now, behind the lockers’ teeth. Womanhood a
flood of molars, dissolving, dissolved. Won’t you light a star
for the men? By June you’ll have sewn yourself a new skin. You
will watch the other girls emerge from doorways and alleys, can-
-did collapse, what this world will do
to a girl who trusted bone, air, anything.

Originally published in Glass Poets' Resist

Prayer for Doomed Girls by Gaia Rajan

Gaia Rajan lives in Andover, MA. She's the Managing Editor of The Courant. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Rust+Moth, Hobart, Kissing Dynamite, Glass Poetry, Eunoia Review, Mineral Lit, and elsewhere. She hopes you have a wonderful day.