I’m writing in a dark room. Maybe the body
of the poem is a child. Maybe the body’s
finding itself, like it should have as a child.
Are you listening? Maybe there’s no redeeming
or justifying what’s been done to the poem’s body,
now or as a child.
I skip dinner again, my most cherished habit—
I wish to talk only of pretty things, pretty
bodies, but there’s a distance between naming something
and naming yourself.
I need you to know I’m writing because I miss you,
but I will never forgive what happened.
Poem, I don’t need to tell you what happened
but I’m finding myself in it even as we speak, writing
again towards this body which so many
have written on already.
All their comments. All their comparisons.
When does telling yourself you’re pretty
cease to become a mechanism for staying
alive another day?
I’m writing this in my handheld
machine. I’m Venmoing
my friend for a slice of pizza.
My teeth are too long, I’m an animal.
Of course I care about every single word I hear.
Poem, ignore everything I say about myself.
Thick hair, obscured genitals, all of it.
I’m standing in my bathrobe, reading the comments
section one more time. I’m washing the filth
off my face. I’m looking at you,
the mirror, taken suddenly
with the great,
of the whole
Read more from Issue No. 27 or share on Twitter.