A Space for Women of the World
sometimes in sleep i think
i dream the sound of my name
on your voice. it is yelling,
which is how i know you,
and it wakes me, which
is no surprise.
but when i remember where i am,
i remember i am alone,
how you were in that place with
a tube shoved into your throat hole
and the feed-line snaking
from your belly. sustaining “life.”
i also remember that time i prayed,
long before disease, with all my heart–
when i begged god to make it easy.
i want to believe he locked you away
in a body that could not speak or sit up,
to teach me. be wary what you ask for.
if you were just hidden,
at least there would be a chance
you’d come back. that would be simple.
i would no longer
keep an iron grip on my phone,
trained by hoping one day
the pain and cancer would
let us rest.
maybe then i could stop wondering
if i could ever go back,
“this is hard
this is hard
this is hard”
I lost this weight–that is,
I lost one-sixth of me, and
I’m thinner than I remember
being made fun of being.
I fit a dress that fits the lesser me,
its number small and new,
counting in lonely digit
bites, and grams, and time.
I walked past home while
one-sixth of I was getting lost.
Home called for me to stop,
then left scratchy crumbs leading back.
When I see the bread, I pinch it tight
between my fingertip bones–just how
my aunt pinched the wing of my arm,
right below the shoulder.
In the negative space of the mirror,
my blue bodice lace floods
the bulk where my one-sixth
used to be.
I still only see the old, wide perception,
which like a museum-housed canvas is
chunky of tint and two-dimensional,
bearing yet the heft to challenge
a three-man team.