P, if you see me wearing a bulky pair of headphones

Sun, 03/03/2019 - 15:25 -- Loganms

hunched over in the corner of a classroom, you can interrupt.

They are ornamental, invisibility—so friends don’t ask

what happened to my eyelashes (you are not one of those friends);

so teachers don’t ask if I’m cold when my arms are tree trunks,

my shoulders like parentheses compress me. The other option

is remembering my chest exists to feed (my mother

won’t let me forget. She calls to check if my fake smile is intact

for Christmas Day, neck can still snap up and down as I focus

back on this poem, then hear her say wait. Your uterus

is a gift. I wrapped it and everything). My mother fears

people won’t see the slim legs under all that hair; people fear

bodies will break, muscles burst out of running calves or melt

out of existence, eyelashes spill like pine needles to be swept

up weeks before Christmas—the tree still has to last—limbs

crumbling as we idealize knives in Instagram biographies,

ignoring blood spilled in kitchens and bedrooms and nighttime

driveways. I too want to carve that serrated blade across

my nipples, then down, gathering skin to shed, if only I could

sew myself shut. Teach me to think of this poem as more

than a place to tell you the truth without repercussions,

more than a wish to be transparent that only comes true

when I take the headphones off and beg you to listen—be

my needle and thread, and I will axe another tree.

This poem is about: 
My family
My community


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