Every day my body wears me
and I am worn out by its weight,
by its incessant need to be real.
I am a girl half-seeing and half-seething,
kneading my cheeks, grabbing
fistfuls of my back and trying
desperately to recall the conversion rate
from loose flesh to loose change
as if the currency isn’t constructed
on my own feminine destruction.
My mother says that the cost
of beauty is your own divinity,
and there are bruises on my knees
from praying to false gods
on backlit billboards. I want
to offer these hands I’ve always hated
like flowers to the altar of womanhood
but my average blood stains it with my sin.
Once, I walked past a bush and saw
a flower without a center. I wanted
to believe it had become overwhelmed
by its own infinitude, but the longer
I looked the more it appeared
to be a victim of evisceration.
Once, someone told me that
looking real and being real
are not always one and the same,
and when I look at myself,
I cannot tell where my body ends
and I begin. I can tell you
that the distance between my and this
when you talk about the body
is measured by how long
you take to write your own name
on a list of definitions for sacred.