old enough to be watching american idol unironically, young enough to be absolutely infuriated that everyone is covering harry styles and getting the lyrics wrong

“Teenage-girl fans — they don’t lie. If they like you, they’re there. They don’t act ‘too cool.’ They like you, and they tell you. Which is sick.” – Harry Styles in Rolling Stone (2017).

there is something to be said for

longing like a teenage girl, I recall

counting down the days

until christmas morning,

or the “first day back,”

or anything, really

something to be said

for the dedication; the certainty

that you can have it

or someone, or anything, really

that stretch of time before

you realize everyone, at some point

identifies with hating glitter, and their job

and everything, really

spends entire evenings shouting

with, or at, their loved ones

the answers to jeopardy

or the reasons why the other

has fallen short, again

but not teenage girls

and yet, teenage girls

are always among the first

to be told to grow up.

Aubri Kaufman is a poet and a mental health clinician from New Jersey. Her work can be found in various literary magazines, including Eunoia ReviewPunk Noir, Pink Plastic House, and CttB’s Poetry Showcase. Her first poetry collection, stickerbush, is set for release in July 2022. Twitter: @aubrirose

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