I was a girl, meaning not allowed to touch my own body when it pleased me. Not allowed to bleed and show it. I had to hide the blood and all its cousins. I had to lie about it. On our farm I was allowed to be dirty, but I could not be strong. When I reached my full height, I was not allowed to own what I knew of where the briars broke my skin, how the green paint inside a blade of grass got inside the scratches, left me prickling when I went to bed without a bath. Fragile is what they called me instead. But I remember, anyway, how I grew up in the woods, inside of books, burned my eyes looking up at the sky and I touched what I liked, and I bled when I was ready, and I was rarely your idea of clean, but whatever you thought clean was, you were wrong.