We run, hearts racing, through
this jungle of concrete and wire,
electricity surging between us.
I never dreamt you’d let me plug in.
I’ve felt nothing before you, I realize,
my palms perspiring with gratitude.
Your physicality, spirituality,
hypnotizing even the widest awake.
Mad, crashing waves and landslides
haven’t the effect that your kiss
will have upon me. I know this
as my lips part, letting you inside.
Your skin, like tracing paper, with
a history of lovers etched before me.
Through the chaos, I clock that I
can leave a mark. I’m careful not to.
I beg you, dream not of another,
or this realm might find me dissipating.
Press into me. Feel this pulse.
It is you that my heart beats for.
I have never held you,
but at night when I am drifting off --
My arm is wrapped around you,
your back pressed to my chest.
My lips rest gently against your
shoulder as you sleep.
The baby is beside you.
My hand finds the cup of his thigh.
I remember, from watching you rest
on the way to the waterfall,
that your forehead twitches.
His does too.
I remember who we were last March.
And last July. And seven years ago.
You remember who you ran away
from in Maine.
I am not her.
I am not the woman that you
didn't say goodbye to.
That you didn't text
before you disappeared.
I am the woman who loves you.
Even after all of those question marks.
Even after all of these commas.
I am older, and wiser, and more patient.
I am a lot of things, and become
something newer everyday.
I am someone that you could be proud of.
That he could be proud of.
I am a history of hanging on,
and sweet, run on, over-exaggerated,
poetically justified sentences.
I am the one you never see, period.
I’m “skinny-fat” my best
friend said, tugging at skin
stretched taut against her frame.
I could tell she believed there
was something to grab onto.
“She must be crazy.” I thought.
I have flab and wrinkles,
but most of them I’ve
earned by eating really good
food and laughing too hard.
I’ve never once cried
over a slice of pizza.
My mother tells me that
I am beautiful, but I have her
metabolism. That I won’t
be able to eat like this forever.
I tell her that I’m lucky to have
gotten anything from her.
My ex used to tell me
that I felt like a woman,
that my curves wrapped
around her like a blanket.
That she liked the way
they held her against me.
Later, when we broke up,
She told me to keep the
That I needed it more than
she did. That my curves
would soon be roundabouts.
It amazed me how a blanket
became an embarrassment.
How my figure became a
target. How she could stop
loving something she held
so tightly the years before.
No longer being gazed upon by a
forgiving eye, I stopped seeing
my reflection through a rose-
colored lover’s lens. Under
darker scrutiny my body
became no longer my own.
It went to the magazines, and
the movies, the teacher in high
school who wrapped his hands
around my ribcage, squeezed tightly
beneath my breasts and exclaimed,
“THIS is your waist.”
I let him.
I let them all.
And here she stands, still
mashing her skin out like putty.
I'm beside her, fingers shaking,
pushing and pulling parts of
me that might make “this”
look a little better.
We will do anything for
a photograph, but will do
nothing for happiness. By the
time my body stretches enough
to carry a child I hope that my
perspective has changed.
I do not want them to --
male, female, or other --
carry the insecurities that
I have. I want them to see
themselves through the
biased eyes of their mother.
My body, and their body,
her body and your body,
Will somebody please tell me
what normal looks like,
because we are all beautiful
and not a single one the same.
I miss telling you I miss you.
The way you used that crooked smile.
The way you pulled me tighter after
I miss the random phone calls
Asking if we have sugar,
Or if I'd like you to grab something
on the way.
I miss our closeness.
Not only between our bodies.
I miss the Mariachi music outside your
I miss your struggling sensitivity,
And your easy understanding.
I miss how I never missed you before you
Such a strange world,