Girlhood Stays

by | Jul 13, 2022

Imagine of a stone paste bowl painted with an image of a deer and phoenix.

Rogers Fund 1970. Stonepaste; blue and black painted under transparent glaze (Sultanabad ware).

Yesterday afternoon I made an observation
One that came from wasting away the morning lying in loneliness and in the nude
My belly had been burnt by the heating pad with purpose
I get angry with myself when I do this, hiding from the sun when I need it most
Especially now that getting ready takes longer than it ever has

I pluck the dark hairs around my areolas and wonder if girls still pluck petals from
for confirmation of love
Finally making it out my home, I bring with me the reminder that I want to practice
my outside 
I have been trying like another choice is on the other side
     Or joy

My prayer looks like the longer route home
It always has been
Maybe because this feels like a second wave of girlhood
And if this usually happens in the same year that you turn 26 — I am okay

I want to name every girl who reminds me
I am an observer of my past selves
I want to make an ode to them
In the profound way I think of Sade song titles
Maybe then I’ll be better at directions
Maybe then I’ll meet my own protection spells
Sometimes watering plants is my equivalent to spirits wetting my tongue
Letting loose what I thought was no longer serving me in broken boundaries

I’d rather be consumed by that than ever hav
e to do tedious tasks again
Like sitting with wonder
That have I really lived
If not many lives

Mylena Rodriguez

Mylena Rodriguez

Publab Fellow 2022

Mylena Rodriguez is from Seattle, Washington, where she began writing poetry as a kid. Today, she writes poetry and prose in a theme described as think pieces of self-reflections.

Almost one year into the pandemic, she relocated and is now based in Los Angeles, California, where she builds roots in the literary world, amplifying stories and aiming to be part of the pursuit to make the publishing industry less white. After wrapping up as a LARB publishing fellow, Mylena will also be wrapping up a chapbook intensive with GrubStreet, where she aspires to gain guidance in developing a manuscript for an anthology rooted in alcoholism, love, and memory.