This poem was performed live for St. Catharines Poetry Slam at Mahtay Café in late 2016. It was published by Bi Women Quarterly in their Summer 2017 issue: “Violence & Recovery” (vol. 35, no. 3, p. 7).
Trigger Warning: implied sexual assault attempt
These jeans fit like a dream.
Every lump and bump left unseen;
Skin-tight, they fit just right,
And they are going on a date tonight.
These jeans make me feel like a queen
Giving the appearance of hips though I’m just fifteen
And have the ass of a twelve-year-old boy, 28” wide,
But even that’s something these jeans can hide.
They are boot-cut and kick-butt,
These jeans; ready for a hand in the back pocket,
Or trailing up my jean-clad thigh,
Because these jeans have a date with a good-looking guy.
These jeans are a little anxious,
They thought they’d be in a movie theatre
Showing off that long-legged picture,
Not on a couch in the basement.
These jeans don’t want your hand there.
Didn’t expect to have to say no here.
Thought he might cop a feel with the goodnight kiss
Because in these jeans, how could he resist?
These jeans can’t sit up with you sitting on them.
These jeans are trying to laugh it off
But they don’t find it that funny anymore.
In fact, these jeans want to go home.
No, these jeans won’t relax, baby.
These jeans aren’t the don’t worry, you’ll like it type.
These jeans are the get your hands off me,
And these jeans aren’t your teenage dream tonight.
These jeans are made of stronger stuff than you realized.
They won’t be pushed around, or down,
Just because your hands are wider than these hips,
And you have weight to your advantage.
But these jeans used to be buttoned at the top,
And that was over with an audible pop
As those wide hands yanked at this waistband
And decided that these jeans were your Disneyland.
But these jeans hide two hard knees,
Harder and bonier than whatever’s in yours,
And one of these hard knees
Is aiming for your soft parts, buddy.
These jeans are getting out of here.
I’m holding these jeans together at the front
Because the zipper is broken and the button is missing
But these jeans will get me home.
These jeans are in a ditch in Niagara-on-the-Lake,
Hunkered down in the mud,
Hoping not to get caught in your headlights,
But you pull your mom’s car over anyway.
These jeans will not get in that car.
These jeans can’t walk back to St. Catharines.
These jeans get in the car,
And they promise not to tell your mom, or mine.
These jeans are not a metaphor.
They are three years balled up in the back of my closet.
With a broken zipper and a rip in the knee,
These jeans have been haunting me.
These jeans are not getting packed!
They are not moving with us,
Not being put into any more boxes;
They have already been compartmentalized.
These jeans are being left behind
With all their gooseflesh memories
And popped button nightmares.
They are headed for the trash.
I can’t touch these jeans again.
They make my skin crawl and itch,
Still feeling like that frigid bitch who said no —
Whoever buys the house can have them.
Because this poem was never about a pair of jeans.
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