i’m 11 & there is so much softness in me
                my phone is a revolving door of men
from Kik who tell me so             who ask me to
bare the softest parts of me                   to them
                when all i want is a friend
                to make me less lonely
i’m 11 & learning love from the quick chatter
of my parents voices going to battle inside of
                                         a house cooled by fire
inside of me is              a house cooled by fire
                                        all of the men
                                                    i should not be talking to
                                               on my phone hold the match
i’m an only child & want something other than
            my parents love to satiate me 
i’m searching for something 
a void is in me                         but i’m young & soft
i don’t have a name for it but it’s silence haunts
me like the icy hands of that ice boy back
in second grade cornering me in his whiteness
any chance he could get putting his hands
in my pants at every opportunity or
            one of the four other black girls in my grade i
called a friend
                            how she pinned me in a bathroom
stall during break demanding me to kiss her whole
         i think they too were searching for
                something their voids so open & deep     
they started showing their trauma early on
knew the time & place to give it        a name
my face must have been so soft
    my ear the place they would
    whisper that name into
                                       yet i’m 11
& have forgotten what to call it,
it sticks to me like an unrecognizable
shadow           whispering to me 
years later as i’ve begun my adult years 
yearning to banish it from this body