Operation 2015

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“Oh, my god, Becky, look at her butt… it is so big!”

You know, she’d be pretty if she did something with her hair.

You look so great, have you lost weight?

“36, 24, 36! But only if she’s 5’ 3”…”

I wish I had Beyoncé’s thighs,

The only part I like is my eyes,

They have an operation for that.


Boxtox, Photoshop, airbrush, hairbrush,

I wish I could brush away this so-called “feminine,”

Since when are my measurements my measurement?

Placing more value on the size of my dress and the size of my breasts than the size of my best,

It’s everywhere.


I step out on the street and your eyes go directly to my ass,

Or my chest,

You hiss and click your tongue like I’m your dog,

As if the sole purpose of my thighs is the gateway to your salvation,

And I can hear you through my headphones!

Present for your viewing pleasure,

What else are women for except your pleasure?

I stare straight and say nothing.


I remember the day we officially met.

The day you saw me on the street, pulled over your car and got out,

Instead of hollering from the sidelines of my life.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw you coming,

Staring straight, my heart was running,

Faster! Faster, you know he’s coming!

Get the hell out of this place!


The claws of your expectations rip my skin to the bone with a touch,

Your pretty prey,

 “Hey Miss – I just wanna let you know that you are beautiful. Are you from around here?”

“Uh, no.” I’m late for a very important date without you,

With me!

With my destiny!


“I gotta go.”

“What? No, I just wanna get to know you, baby!”

“That’s very sweet of you, but I’m late.”



Like a mother’s touch.


Like a lover’s lush skin.

Sweet, like lemonade in July.

I said “sweet.”

You followed me in your car for nine and a half blocks.


I once knew a young woman who felt in control of her destiny.

I once knew a young woman who didn’t take shit from anybody.

I once knew a young woman who strut with pride and strength in her body and mind.

Her feet were made of diamonds smashing through the sidewalks of the world,

Step by step,

Opportunity, oozing,

Love, oozing,

Life, oozing through the cracks.

Don’t worry baby,

They have an operation for that.

Operation 2015

Natalie Jeanne Petrillo-Alvarez
School of Social Work