Like Totally Whatever by Melissa Lozado Oliva (Poem#17)

Like Totally Whatever

by Melissa Loazado Oliva

Like Totally Whatever after Taylor Mali

In case you haven’t realized
it is somehow become necessary
for old white men to tell me how to speak
They like, interrupt a conversation that
isn’t even theirs, and are like
“Speak like you mean it.”
and like the internet is
ruining the english language
and they like put my
parentheticals, my likes, and uhms
and you-knows on a wait list
Tell them no one would
take them seriously in a
frilly pink dress or that make up
Tell them they have a confidence problem
That they should learn to speak up
like the hyper masculine words were
always the first to raise their hands

Invisible red pens and college degrees
have been making their way into the middle
of my sentences, I’ve been crossing things out
every time I take a moment to think.
Declarative sentences, so called because they
declare themselves to be the loudest, truest,
most taking up the most space
most totally white men sentences
Have always told me that being angry
has never helped like anybody,
has only gotten in the way of helping
them declare more shit about how
they will never be forgotten like ever

It’s like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway
were geniuses for turning women into question marks
It’s like rapes happen all the time on campuses
but as soon as John Krakauer
writes about it, suddenly it’s like
innovative nonfiction and not like
something girls are like making up
for like attention and it’s like maybe
I am always speaking in question
because I’m so used to being cut off
It’s like maybe this is defense mechanism
Maybe everything girls do is evolution
of defense mechanism
Like this is protection like
our likes are our kneepads
our uhms are our knives we tuck into our boots at night
our you-knows are the best friends we call
when we’re walking down a dark alley
Like this is how we breathe easier
But I guess feelings never helped anybody
I guess like tears never made change
I guess like everything girls do is a waste of time

So welcome to the bandwagon of my own uncertainty
watch as I stick flowers in your punctuation mark guns
’cause you can’t just challenge authority
You gotta take it to the mall too
teach you to do the bend and snap
paint its nails
braid its hair
Tell its looks like really good today
and in that moment
you murder it with all the poison
in your like softness
you let it know that like this
like this moment
it’s like, uhm,
you know me
using my voice



One thought on “Like Totally Whatever by Melissa Lozado Oliva (Poem#17)

  1. Pingback: Como que, lo que sea de Melissa Lozada-Oliva – El Periódico de las Señoras

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