She is the size of my palm the day I first see her
writhing in white slime, hair slicked back
like wet maize tassels on her head
For a few weeks her skin sheds
and we joke about how much
the chunks of dead skin
on the soft spot of her head, weigh
When she clocks 18 she is a Cap D
her waist is 32 inches – her hips 46
and the men are starting to say, hey
When she is 20 and in a strange city
a man will creep into her bed
because that bed is in his house
He will try to slip his hand up her thigh
and he will not hear her when she cries, No.
When the sun is up
there will be no shame on his face
as he calls her a cab.
He will phone her once
to ask if she has arrived home safe
then he will text one word, Shh!
Link to the Italian translation