She hides her youth in intonations.
Borrowing her mother's skirt and her expressions,
she believes the art of resurrecting generations
is but a matter of inflection.

She hides her youth in books she shouldn't have read.
Burying her age in anachronisms,
she quotes the greats like old friends of hers—long-dead
and safe from the aging living's criticism.

She hides her youth in cynicism.
Wearing her forehead tight in the frown of the learned,
she gives herself wrinkles, cosmetic schisms,
and with them, a worldliness she has not earned.

She hides her youth in androgyny.
Hoping her shrill laugh will darken as the days unfurl,
she fears most of all that age goes before beauty
and the scorn that comes with the phrase

little girl.