what you got there

I tuck the pendant with six points and ten sides, under my crochet sweater, I
Had sworn to never let the silver chain leave my skin
And I keep my promises.
Hiding away in the soft fabric lay a star ashamed, and 
Me afraid, 
to dishonor it.

I let the passengers pass, and 
Receive a vast glance from the officer
Who most definitely, due 
To the obvious tuck-away, knew
I was hiding something...

He waltzes to my seat on the vacant bus, 
Plants himself beside me, I 
Watch his body language shift towards me, lay
Down his hands quite awkwardly
His knees now see, 
My own
Only the thin sides of my chain had shown

He indicates towards my shirt
"What you got there"
I put a stop to my blinking 
Keep fixated on the ground
Lift my arms, allowing him to pat me down
After his hands search my sides, 
And the only thing he finds
Two blue patterned tampons in my pockets
His face glows red
His eyeballs wide in their sockets 
And I receive the sincerest of apologies.

I look around, admiring the loose and free crosses
Hung so proudly from passengers necks 
Laughing my shame and tears away
None of their identities turned them to recks
Yet here I am.

My eyes glassy, a guilty nausea rising deep in my core 
lift my chain, cleaning the small gems with precision 
Ignore the streams from my eyes, the pointless cries for,
The only thing that I was hiding was my religion

I know not to do that anymore. 

About The Author

Casey Law is a 15-year-old queer, neurodivergent, female, and Jewish poet who was born and currently resides in New Jersey. She has published a teenage mental health poetry book and her work has been published in Brownbag.online and cultofclio.com. She has upcoming work in poetrynation.com @writenowlit @bullshitmag @gencontrolz @_intersections @deaths_dormant and @inertiateens. She is on Twitter: @cjlaureate: