This Unruly Body

This unruly body

shows the scars of invisibility

stores retaliations too dangerous to speak

attempts to numb instead of feel

to translate dismissal into love

when feeling was too dangerous

and I was in the way


This unruly body

elicits strong feelings

a thing to be contended with

the disgust with the pity mask

the discomfort with the worry mask

the problem and the problem

too much seen-ness

to be less is to be better

doctor’s orders


This unruly body

strength and resilience

shield, sword and hearth

my home and my shelter

a reminder of what I survive

contains all of this


This unruly body

warm and engulfing

strong, sturdy, solid, sexy

source of comfort and pleasure

a smile, a squeeze, a moan

loved and seen

and seen and seen and seen


(Inspired by Roxanne Gay’s project Unruly Bodies)