Oral Fixation

By Nurulhuda Arslan

I was a

NAIL BITER
HAIR CHEWER
THUMB SUCKER

A blemish
on the family name

Shorn of my hair
Gloves on my hands.
Just saving you, they said,
Boys don’t like freaky girls.

Yet still I yearn for that familiar weight
Pressing against my tongue

I compensate
Replacing flesh with inanimate objects
Pens, pencils, straws, spoons
Offer comfort

Sooth

The urge to fill that hole in my face
But again they go accusing me of indecency
Be a lady, don’t bring shame upon the family name

So I rebel against the compulsion
Reign in my straying fingers
Grit my teeth so that
I won’t stain

That precious family name

I am master of my body now
No longer harbouring
Any desire to suck

Yet still I find

That no boy

Wants me

Now.

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