i am trying to love to body you put me in
By Caroline Wolff
Chewing a hole in the cotton candy Cupid’s bow from the photo album lying open on your nightstand, I
am trying to love the body you put me in. How were you to know what they would
do to me, how were you to
envision my flesh folded in on itself like the oil-stained, dog-eared pages of the books I used to read?
Mosaic of my own handprints,
places I’ve pinched and poked and pulled and pierced, I lick the blood from my lip to
feed my taste buds, dehydrated tongue rough like a matchbox, burning
like the silken baby skin
I’ve rubbed raw.
Caressed by a moonbeam, lying on
a wrinkled blanket
draped across the hardwood floor of my childhood bedroom, I am
enveloped in an intimacy I never thought possible for a body this
misshapen and mishandled. So at 21, I take my first nude
photograph, not for anyone but myself, just to marvel at the synchronic
fullness and hollowness of my vessel, the symphonic
swells of breast, the crests and caves of my clavicle,
my scars like daybreak through milkweed clouds or tire tracks on a rainy road.
I have tried to love the body you put me in. I am starting to love her shadow.