This is my body. 200 billion red blood cells die daily, while 2 million are replaced every second. With fire and a drum, Shiva Nataraj treads upon our ignorance, dancing us in and out of existence. And they say alcoholics are always alcoholics, and they say cutters never scratch that itch, but I have sat here three long years waiting for that urge to return and all I want is orange juice and maybe a tattoo.

Shiva passed this way today,
hand-in-hand with a dark-haired girl
who is afraid of writing down her stories,
that they might warp, become too

permanent in a form not their own.

This is my body. 2mg of cyproterone acetate and 35 micrograms of ehtinylestradiol enter my body 21 days of every month, stealing my hormones and making the release of my invisible eggs impossible. If you think I’m crazy today you should have seen me two years ago, screaming and slamming doors and curling up in bed without a word. The woman on television tells of clitoral stimulation from a twittering butterfly on her vibrator. “Women don’t love their bodies enough.”

A girl in a blue bathrobe
fresh out of the shower
towels her hair
as she stands there
before the mirror.

Hands that washed




are hands

that now rip tangles
apart and will later
stir a pot of soup
to share with him.

A girl in tulle and cotton
sits in a school auditorium
listening to the women
proclaiming self-examination:
1 in 100,000 are afflicted.”

A girl once thirty pounds lighter,
thirty pounds closer to herself,
will slip on her one black bra
with the fuzzy bits stuck to the front.

Hands adjust the fit, fingers tapping
to the back to fasten the clip.
So formal with her only body,
these fingers fasten, wash, and fix,
but never simply touch.

This is my body. Every day I am created, sustained, and destroyed in a long process that slowly kills me. Inside each carriage are dozens of people whose actions are impossible to predict with 100% accuracy, but the train always travels in the same direction.