Although I write all the time, I rarely come up with a poem that is super relevant to the purpose of my blog. I think this one right here is. It’s a creative reflection on some stuff that I let happen to me before I knew who I was.
Girl as Decor
The year I woke up fifteen,
boys began to find me. The backyard
at night seemed to fill with their hands.
Summer breeze became hot breath
on my neck, a sticky bouquet of cigarettes
and mint. Even the ground prickled
with their evening shadows. My parents
didn’t notice the change, conveniently turned
patio furniture at the sight of dandelion stains
on my nightshirt. My hair grew into a basket
of leaves. My fingernails: tiny shovels. My skin
became clay. In the dark, the boys pressed
themselves into me, each trying his best
to leave handprints, something to bring home
and show his mother.
At first, it was manageable. A flattened toe,
a missing eyebrow, a turned wrist. Then,
there was the morning I woke up with no feet.
I had to use most of my stomach to remake
them. Though I relished my new waist, I began
to fear collapse, so I filled myself out again
with beeswax. The boys next took
to switching my eyes, my ears, my breasts.
Unable to hold my shape, I left for college
a cubist sculpture, wondering if they would
follow. What if I didn’t have a yard anymore?
Would I look better as an ironing board?
A casserole dish? A decade passed before
I realized I wasn’t looking for them, have never
looked for them.