Late Bloomer

I barely catch a sweat in my
baggy, school-issued gym clothes,
as we all run around the glossy court
afraid of foam balls—squealing,
narrowly dodging embarrassment.

Afterward, in the locker room,
K and C laugh at my mosquito bites.
I steal glances at their filled-out sports bras,
as they tell me about the boys they love,
the ones that look at them like meat,
and don’t see at me at all.

That summer,
I took care of my auntie’s parade roses.
“Water carefully every 2-3 days,”
as directed.

I watched with glee
as buds developed,
expanding into full blooms.

As each blossomed,
one stubborn babe held tight —
days past her sisters’ openings.

It took so much energy to resist prying her open with my fingers,
or taking the bud in one hand
and crushing it.


About Tiffany Diane Tso

Tiffany is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn. She usually writes journalistically — on topics surrounding identity, culture, advocacy and art — but dabbles in creative writing. So please be gentle. Follow her @tiffanydian on Instagram or Twitter.