Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2016  Vol. 15 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
 print preview

girl / fille
Only the lover and the child have a heavy heart.

Naturally the girl can do the splits both ways. Girl from gyrela, item of dress worn by girls, hence a metonym—from female from birth to full growth to female child from birth to marriage. An unmarried woman, no longer a girl, is a girl. Conjecture: the Aryan root contains ghwrghw, which is also within the Greek parthenos, “virgin,” hence girl equals virgin if we incorporate the ancient growl—ghwrghw. Oh, come on. Sugar and spice. Ribbon and rival. Girlie: adj., partiality to pink. Girlie, n., a pornographic magazine. A servant, a sweetheart. Then spoke I to my girle to part her lips, to get her talking so her mouth will move, to watch it moisten. Older use, usually offensive, a female employee: a dirty slipshod girl-of-all-work. A lass, a doll, a moppet, girl-miser, maid, coquette. Average age of menarche: 12.4 years. Average age of first kiss: 14 years. Average age of first sexual experience: 17.3 years. Born girl: alcohol, anorexia, bullying, caffeinated beer, cutting, driving under the influence, drugs, predators, prescription drugs, sexting, smoking, STDs, study drugs, tanning, teen pregnancy, texting while driving, tobacco trafficking, overdose. LIFE magazine, on Doris Day: She’s the girl next door, all right, next door to the bank. To think of a gell o’ your age wanting to go and sit with half-a-dozen men! Did you not think you would find me in my father’s house?  

The poem samples quotes from A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments by Roland Barthes, “The Rock of Rubies: and the Quarrie of Pearls” by Robert Herrick, and Adam Beve by George Eliot.

return to top