A- B-C’s

I learned my A-B-C’s at the ripe age of three
Letters built words and words breathed life
At ten I learned A’s got love from my mother-
B’s lowered eyes, C’s a yelling beast
At twelve I learned C’s were for sexy girls-
B’s a decent grower, A’s a sunken nobody
I was as flat in the chest as I was in my face that was
Told looked like it had been smacked by the lid
Of a trash can. Trash, that must’ve seeped into my
Skin, yellowed like the discarded banana peel but as white on the inside as my grandpa said I was
That couldn’t be loved for my body nor my intelligence-or
Lack thereof that doesn’t deserve love these
Letters built up words that tore down my soul
Said you’re so stupid
          you’re not hot
          you’re unlovable
Labeled me an ‘A’ here, a ‘C’ there
No one told me at three these letters would destroy me
But I stand here unlearning what I learned these
letters I craft together give me new identity for
     I am smart
     I am more than my body
     I am loved
     I am a builder of letters


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