Too soon
the child menstruates
bleeding away her
need to play
she is captured
behind glass
starched and polished
until catching the eye of a man
old enough to have given her life
she is sold
in so much some marriages are not
choice
and her private parts are laid bare
under a shard of glass standing in for knife
then the girl knows
she is a woman
spreading her wide to ensure
she was not defiled
her hymen reinforced
her clitoris removed
fearing
if she is not sewn tightly enough
her husband will not feel
special nor soak the ritual bed sheet
scarlet
she could die if she does not tear apart
sufficiently for the relatives
who bay for her blood
fearing
if she feels anything but gratitude and pain
she may be tempted by someone else
perhaps the boy her age
who with her in the dirt played
before she had to give up
being a child and become
a woman slain
in shackles of faith
 

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