Vassar Student Review

Vassar Student Review

When you go shopping and
share a changing room
with your friend
—the one whose parents don’t yell
and whose cats don’t bite—
and the dress that she’s trying on gets stuck
over her head,
you will notice the curving pouch of her torso,
matte pink and visible against the
overhead
lights, nothing like the pages of a Watchtower.

Do not be afraid
to ask her if she needs help
putting the next dress on,
or to tell her that you’re not used to
seeing her
in anything other than black shirts and blue jeans.
Let yourself wonder
if her arms feel glossy when they’re wet.
Have faith in your mind

and acknowledge your suspicion
that your pretty and her pretty
are not the same thing,
and that there’s a reason why
your emoness is quieter
than hers,

but don’t worry about why you’ve noticed
the softness under her band tees,
and don’t worry about giving
a confession that you can’t describe.

Believe her when she tells you
how pretty you look
in the clothes you’ve chosen,
and remember
to tell her that she’s just as pretty
before you leave the room.

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