Home from school, she laughs -- another child stuck in her throat.
She speaks with a cadence that came home on the bus.
I want to tell her
take that off
it doesn't fit
But I close my teeth over my tongue, scratching the itch to speak.
It's up to her to decide if what she puts on
clashes with what's underneath.
How much water will I have to drink when she's 15 and my whole mouth is burning, burning, burning to speak, to save her from ridicule or preserve what I've pinned down as her sense of self?
But I'll have to let her walk out of that fitting room
with whatever she has on.
[as long as it's not too short]