Three girls are playing skip rope in a vacant field, alone. They wear dresses with lace, white Keds, and when the one skipping jumps up, you can see that she is not wearing any underwear, and even though she is only six years old, you know she is older than your sweet, stern grandmother, and you also know that she is a slut because a good girl would be wearing underwear. The other two girls are spinning the rope for the slutgirl, and all three of them look like dolls—small, beautiful, and fragile. Something you can steal from a store and promise to love, and then break in a fit of rage because you’re a man and you have control, and a doll is just a thing, and you don’t have to respect a doll. A doll doesn’t deserve anything. A doll doesn’t breathe. A slut doesn’t wear underwear. The girls are singing, screaming, and shaking. They are alive. They are terrified. They cry out, “Don’t set foot where the bad men go. Don’t go there. Don’t go there.” The slutgirl’s feet keep time. They do this for hours until the sun turns its back on them, and they are in darkness. The moon is too drunk to glow tonight, and the stars fret among clouds as wispy as your grandmother’s eyelashes. Slutgirl keeps skipping until her pounding feet have struck out her grave, and indeed, the bad men come to piss on it.


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