“The Riot Grrrls get Juvéderm, drunkorexia, and other tales” by Sofia Maher

2 girls walk into a patriarchy /
2 girls linger by the exit /
rocking greasy curls and onyx lip stain that dulls after many many glasses of Pinot Noir /
they quote the Beauty Myth / Andrea Dworkin /
their mom prays the gay away /
she swears to them “men are great! they have broad shoulders and buy dinner drinks” /
their mom sleeps on the couch /
2 girls respond: we don’t eat dinner /
2 girls respond: however /
2 girls respond: we do like drinks /
they drink more /
and more /
and 1 takes cough medicine /
and she takes more /
and more /
and subversion melts / monotone /
and it’s hard to tell if they killed their synapses into complacency /
or just fade into exhaust / lethargy /
2 girls return to the dinner table looking Brand New /
1 was always the prettiest / even before / before the dermaplaning the lash extensions the lip filler the hair treatments the anorexia Fashion Nova the feminine mystique /
1 was not pretty she was cruel /
this 1 made you feel you were a bajillion bucks boy /
one in a trillion /
you’re Built Different /
you’re special /
teeth aubergine she kisses you eyes wide open mouth wide open /
sloppy long you’re sure she’s in love she’s made of love /
so sure you forget you’re playing right into Troubled Girl’s Playbook /
trope banal trope tired /
trope timeless /
to absolutely no one’s surprise / except your own / she ghosts / you don’t take it personally / because she’s said herself that she feels like danny phantom / so what did you expect
motherfucker /
2 girls walk into a bar /
2 dolls walk into a bar /
a boy sends his eyeballs to the mean 1’s sunken neckline / a cartoon telescope / grabs her arm /
slurs “I like your shirt” /
nobody reacts /
she reclaims her arm she recoils she steps on his feet on accident / on purpose /
everybody oohs /
“this bitch got attitude” /
Bitch /
Bitch /
he grins cheshire cat “can i buy you a shot” /
“i like them feisty” /
the mean 1 can’t frown she has Botox /
the pretty 1 grins cheshire cat / 
the pretty 1 already has 4 boys buying her screwdrivers / the girliest well /
the pretty 1 can’t tell the 4 boys apart /
2 girls leave a bar together /
2 girls don’t want love / 2 girls want to get fucked up / not dicked down /
2 girls are tired /
2 girls wear rose lip gloss and pretty dresses /
2 girls post selfies on Instagram /
2 girls sit nicely in work meetings /
their dad says: I’m proud of my girls /
my girls /
my pretty girls my nice girls /
you’ll make 2 nice Muslim men real happy one day /
their mom shows her teeth straight / white pearly curtained in pink lipstick /
their mom sleeps on the couch //

Sofia Maher is a writer from Georgia. She has published pieces about masculinity, technology, and ethics in various academic outlets. Her creative writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Q/A PoetryNeologism Poetry Journal, and others. She is a 2020 Brain Mill Press National Poetry Month Shortlist poet. In her free time, Sofia likes to read, hike, and seek the silver linings. You can find her on IG at @sarsoura_isdoingherbest

Image: “upside down” by Nicole Monroe

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