To All the Messy Girls I’ve Loved Before
A white girl’s refusal to live by the dominant narrative gets to be glamorous, whereas I cannot imagine how a Black girl’s refusing the terms of society ever could be.
For all his discipline, I cannot picture my father ever invoking the police as a punishment. Because there is no redemption on the other side of that arc, not for a Black teenager.
Brittany K. Allen is a Brooklyn-based writer, performer and library goblin. Her prose appears or is forthcoming in Catapult, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Kenyon Review Online, and Longreads, among other places, and her short fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her stage plays have been produced and developed at Portland Center Stage, Manhattan Theatre Club, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and elsewhere.
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I added it to the list of things off-limits: questions about the past, the wars, why my grandparents had fled China for Taiwan. Why eventually they left that place too.