Tuesday, July 18, 2006


my chest aches
then stops
then pierces with
lightning bolts of seering, hot pain
my chest aches again

I pull my shoulders back
Up, roll back, then down-
Keep them there, stiff
Lift through the stomach
Chin raised, eyes up
Posture, posture
Good, lisa, good posture

Decades of hunch over caught up
Top of my shoulders point
northwest or northeast, depending
on where I stand
They don’t just go straight up, like
most bones
They went up and over
Trying to hide
and disguise, averting notice

I have scars, see
Long, ragged pale scars
On my arms, thighs,
Stomach, bum, and breasts

They’re marks showing my body
carries more than I should
My frame upholding unreasonable
requests of weight
They stretch the corners of my body
to where my skin cried, No More
and screamed as they ripped anyway
across my sea, across my body

There is one
starting near my collar bone
Dragging its pale boots across my coffee field
not stopping until nearly my elbow
When extended, its warpath shows
The evidence of battle ensued

The trails over my body flow like small streams
But there is no one bank it rides to or brims from
Each line, each crooked
whispers a why this body could not contain it all
This abbreviated body is too SMALL

My body is speaking-
You cannot silence me, see
I’ll find a way to talk and should that be by
Crowning your thighs with springing wires
or encasing our arms with thin lasting ropes
and marking the tops of your breasts with
dragging ghost fingers
So be it.

I will speak.

I am not apple shaped like your mother said
I did not open my legs for your teacher’s gaze
I did not sit too close to ruin your vision
I cannot carry Mickey’s abuse
And all your friends who were raped and cried agony into my ears
And all the desire to be someone else
The clenched resolve to stay virgin
The vows and promises
Brokenness and shame
Bankruptcy and pity
Hostility and failure
I cannot take your search for Christ who faded into a cross and left you on your red knees,
Novena after novena
Praying for help
For words
For a wagon to carry some of this for you

I will speak.

Put your arms out like you’re crucified
and turn them slowly like a roast
So the peering eyes can fully see-
That you are human and bear
An unfair load, an unjust proportion
An unbalanced share of caring

Stop hunching over and open your shoulders wide
so the skin sags sadly and frowning folds turn with you
Exposing you, liberating you

Let their eyes graze you like an animal
Let their eyes feast on your imperfections
Allow their drifting stare to target your
Slippery vulnerability
Stop fearing those sleeveless days
and pinching your dribbly, marked skin

I told you I’d speak.

I broke your skin from all the brokenness you let in. And fear. And worry.

You locked it so tight into your bones, the healing marrow could not breathe.

Let your marrow breath.
And come home.

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