Receipts from AOL Instant Messenger (8)



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                                           b a n g a b l e1 *•*




  1. bangable (adj.):

    Back when I could rely on puberty to keep me ugly, I pledged my loyalty to the white girls.
    After you get used to it, you won’t feel it, they said, gifting me my first thong. We played Kill-Fuck-Marry on
    Notebook paper. We dialed *67 & called 1-800-HOT-LIPS. The white girls renamed me Andy & left
    Glossy mouth marks on me. Ma told me I couldn’t talk to boys. This reduced the risk of pregnancy to zero.
    Anonymously in health class, I asked how female condoms should be worn. Girls don’t use condoms. My
    Brown girl body was primed for atrophy. The white girls couldn’t protect me from the shapes of a man. I
    Learned to vacate my body instead. The white girls taught me how to play M.A.S.H. Close your
    Eyes. When you’re ready, say stop
    —to search for a Polaroid memory other than my own.



Anuradha Bhowmik is a Bangladeshi-American poet. She is a 2018 AWP Intro Journals Project Winner in poetry and earned her MFA from Virginia Tech. She has received awards from the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, the Community of Writers, and the Fine Arts Work Center. Her work appears in The Sun, Pleiades, Quarterly West, DIAGRAM, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Indiana Review, Crab Orchard Review, Slice, Copper Nickel, and elsewhere.