Girls who grew up on Britney and Christina

Our mothers and principals waged wars 

Over our bare arms in spaghetti straps

While we snuck peeks at our fathers’ Playboys

Desired and desire were inseparable for us

The perfume-sample scent of our Seventeens

The pages turning like the steps of a spell

Our voices for a pair of legs and a prince

To want to be wanted was the female condition

Our shampoo came in bottles half-full of trapped flowers

We were mermaids who washed our hair with petals

Our waves tumbled down from towers

We trailed tiny plastic butterflies behind us

A breadcrumb path we’d never follow

We were wonder tale wanderers

From summer forests to strange bedrooms

We made poetry of what we lost

We loved the losing most of all

We owned nothing, we flew and fell—

Is it wrong to say I miss us?

Stephanie Parent is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC. Her poetry has been nominated for a Rhysling Award and Best of the Net. Follow her on Twitter at @SC_Parent.

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