I remember feeling dirty when my period first came.
‘Just know you’ll be on the street the moment you get pregnant,’ were the only words from the one I called Mother.
The first time I was called ‘beautiful’ was by a stranger.
It took tragedy to help me understand her. The disease did not break her; she had lived as a broken woman from the moment her father raped her to the moment she had to look into my eyes each day…for the rest of her life but even at her grave I fought the urge to love her.

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