i find her tender / lipstick smudged / making the illison of a soft smile / on her face / and she asks / looking out at the sea of faces / so familiar that it hurts / “will this all matter tomorrow?” / will the pounds she lost to date him / will the friends she shed / the clothes she wore / matter at all / and i lie / because i have been wondering the same thing / “yes, of course……it has to.”

it has taken me a long time to realize / that i owe it to no one / to have to a read a book / when i don’t like the words / and that applies to people too

shhhhhh

i put myself on bed rest. like a terminal patient of illness, the action is familiar. i strip out of jeans like shedding a skin i never asked for. next i remove the colorful patterning of my socks, throwing them without caring into a corner. i once imagined that my identity was found in these patterned socks, with recognition lighting voices when they where seen from underneath bathroom stalls. but like everything else foreign and invading, they go. bed rest is a sacred space. wearing a too big t-shirt like a comfort blanket, since big girls aren’t supposed to cry, i lay on my bed. i put myself on bed rest. i pull the smooth cotton of sheets over my head, and curl my legs into the messy wrinkles of my comforter. i curl myself into the most twisted shape i can, like an Eskimo conserving body heat. then with a trembling hand i push my fingernails deep into my stomach. the pulse of my thumb pounds an uneven rhyme into the cellulite and muscle, and i focus on it. i take the smallest beat and pinpoint my focus. the other hand i curl softly against my cheek, like one would touch a newborn. i am that newborn. i am so very scared of the world and so very new to all the bad. and so i put myself on bedrest. i snuggle into this cocoon of comfort, smelling the musk of home that’s forever embedded in my t-shirt. the white fabric scrapes my nose as i exhale, trying to remind myself that i am alive. i put myself on bedrest because i broke again today and my own anxiety held the baseball bat to my china-shop demise.

shhhhhh

i put myself on bed rest. like a terminal patient of illness, the action is familiar. i strip out of jeans like shedding a skin i never asked for. next i remove the colorful patterning of my socks, throwing them without caring into a corner. i once imagined that my identity was found in these patterned socks, with recognition lighting voices when they where seen from underneath bathroom stalls. but like everything else foreign and invading, they go. bed rest is a sacred space. wearing a too big t-shirt like a comfort blanket, since big girls aren’t supposed to cry, i lay on my bed. i put myself on bed rest. i pull the smooth cotton of sheets over my head, and curl my legs into the messy wrinkles of my comforter. i curl myself into the most twisted shape i can, like an Eskimo conserving body heat. then with a trembling hand i push my fingernails deep into my stomach. the pulse of my thumb pounds an uneven rhyme into the cellulite and muscle, and i focus on it. i take the smallest beat and pinpoint my focus. the other hand i curl softly against my cheek, like one would touch a newborn. i am that newborn. i am so very scared of the world and so very new to all the bad. and so i put myself on bedrest. i snuggle into this cocoon of comfort, smelling the musk of home that’s forever embedded in my t-shirt. the white fabric scrapes my nose as i exhale, trying to remind myself that i am alive. i put myself on bedrest because i broke again today and my own anxiety held the baseball bat to my china-shop demise.