Your teacher will rip tape off her arm
saying after your first time granting access
past your invisible chastity belt
you won’t quite stick to anyone else
Tell her you think virginity is a fallacy

Do not talk about the day
your dad adopted your sister
because he married a single mom
that brings up premarital sex
Lord Jesus knows you do not want to go there
because there looks a lot like hell
and, I’m convinced, hell looks a lot like middle school
but you brought it up.
Look scared when she says premarital sex
contort your face and say, “I want to be a virgin forever
because sex scares me, my body can betray me
and it is only my fault if I get pregnant.”

Keep your hand on your desk when she says
condoms to do not protect from Sexually Transmitted Diseases
when she says birth control is evil
when she says contraception is a one way ticket to hell
and when you realize hell
looks a lot like sitting in this too small desk
Bible crammed between your science and literature textbooks
missing geography class every Thursday for mandatory mass

Nod when she tells you your body is a temple
nod when she tells you it is your job to keep it sacred
your job to keep it pure for your husband
so you can love him
like he deserves

This piece was originally published in the premiere issue of Terrarium Magazine.  Happy belated World Poetry Day.


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