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jordyn Jun 2016
nobody writes love letters anymore
between dings and likes and clicks and whistles
our hearts are splayed on boring screens
and i’m supposed to tell you all
of the multitudes by which i love you
in 140 characters or less
in a brief “i love you” text
i don’t want to “@” you
i want to touch you
i don’t want to message
i want long form soul searching
in these short bursts, i can’t tell you anything.
i can’t tell you how, sometimes, in the middle of the night
i hear noises and i can’t tell if they’re coming from inside
or outside of my house or my room or my head
and when i am scared i wrap myself around my sheets and wrap my
blanket around me
and think hard for a placebo feeling of your arms on my back and
your gun on my nightstand.
i can’t tell you how, sometimes, in the early afternoon
i forget to take my meds and my legs will shake
and my eyes will go blank and my heart will bare knuckle box my sternum
and flittering lashes and fluttering fingers
dangle off of me like hanging branches
in a bluster
and in those moments, before i can walk to the cabinet
and pop my pills
i hold the big, rugged floral pillow on top of my body
close my eyes
and think of you telling me, “hey, it’s okay”
and sometimes it gives me the strength to slink off of the couch
and wobble to the kitchen.
i can’t tell you how, sometimes, when you’re gone
nothing fills the void where you used to sit
on the edge of my messy bed and tell me
that it’s okay that i got drunk again and maybe i’ll do better tomorrow
i have done better so many tomorrows to date
and i regret not spending one with you sooner.
i can’t tell you how when i think of home i think of nowhere
i can’t tell you how when i think of someday i think of nothing
i can’t tell you how much it means that
in these microcosms of time that i cannot visualize or trivialize or make sense of
where the clay won’t stick and the nails won’t enter
where there is only shimmering dust in a tiny tornado
and a lot of hope and mystery
i can’t tell you how much it means that you are around.

jordyn Jun 2016
fetid life
like old wine settled
in a knock-off crystal glass
oily tops and clotting bottoms
what day is it
what time is it
what realm is it
where am i sinking to
is there treasure
in a chest
gold and gems
in my chest
where a heart pumps bad auras
from gut to head to feet to lips
where gut twists and up comes shame
where legs twist and up come sheets
where long nights
awake and burning
end in morning light
birds chirping
is there treasure where i’m going
lungs full of dark water
storms striking
lurid waves
deep down in my dark i am safe
it is cold, i can sleep
on smooth pearls and wet sand
with ten thousand leagues of pressure
and if i am so unfortunate that i may surface
ten thousand leagues of pressure
will push me back down again
in a wine-dark sea
they don’t know blue like i know blue.
jordyn Dec 2015
a balloon floats over a child’s birthday party that the fat girl wasn’t invited to.
the balloon is the art of maintenance.
let some air out, blow some in, until it’s just right, and then tie it off.

when i was born, i weighed ever so slightly more than six pounds.
that was the last time i’d be slight.
i grew big and grew bigger
years of eating, years of blowing hot air into a balloon hard and fast
with thick, humid inside filling and filling
no longer clear but cloudy and clotted and sick and bigger, and bigger, skin ripping, breaths uncaring, breaths unwavering—

my mother was terrified i’d pop.

i came close in high school, weighing in at two hundred and eight pounds
at the doctor, when i accidentally saw the chart that i was so afraid to see
that i hadn’t seen it in years
and now, here, i saw the weight that i was so afraid, all of this time, to know that i carried.

but i felt it qualitatively
not in the knees, where they tell you you’ll feel it
not in the tightening and narrowing of my overstuffed clothes and arteries
plaque lining them, hardening into tunnels that the blood
can’t find a way through in more than needle thin streams
little brooks in a body born with rivers

not in the heart pumping hard to keep up
not in the swollen, alien stomach that i am sure does not belong to Kate Moss
but i am unsure truly belongs to me.
it looks nothing like the plus size model’s tanned, toned, macro version of a micro Moss
flawless and shiny and glazed with the flecks of photoshopped light
i am a photographer myself, i know the tricks
i felt it in the way the world treated me.

and i know that woman, my designated sister in size who couldn’t fit in my pants and whose shirt I’d drown in, the predetermined champion of my cause,
my implied, targeted marketing role model gimmick and plea to the outraged girls with thick thighs to settle
for someone shopped, just like everyone else.
edited, audited for body parts like stretch marks and pale skin and lines of hair
called happy trails but are sad
that scream desperately for air and an ending when someone,
someone they call brave, runs his tongue along the clearing where they ripped out our flowers and called them weeds, a sad reminder
that i call him brave, too, because they told me he was.

they told me he was brave for adventuring my hills and valleys.
he is no explorer, most of the time.
he is simply a tourist.

they tell me to settle for a woman who still doesn’t look like me.
and they set me a new standard to aspire to—

so i looked in the mirror, ****** it in, twisted, manipulated, tried on this bra and these underwear
and yes, my waist looked slim and yes, my hips had breadth and yes, my ******* were massive and yes, I looked like her.

but then, my mother screamed.

“you are going to die! this is so unhealthy! we have to do something!”
because my high school sent a letter home telling my mother that i was abominable based on three letters and three digits:
BMI- 37.1
i took off my control top *******.
i undid the latch on my push up, padded bra.
i deflated my stomach.
i deflated my pride.
i looked in the mirror in shock and horror like viewing an old time slasher flick in the back of a drive in in the middle of the night in the days where maybe there’d be a hook on the handle when he came to open my door.
i did not look like her.

i let out the air in slow and painful pinches.
and sometimes it swam, doing pirouettes in the bowl like a little dancer
a teaser of the kind of thin lean woman i am not unless these dinners keep spinning
clockwise down the toilet before i feel them weigh in my stomach
and i am wise to the clock – wait just 30 minutes and you take up half the calories.
do it now, now, now, you have to, you have to – and you’ll take up half the space.
Ana told me to and she is only looking out for me.
the numbers decline to 199 and i think 189 could be mine if i put in the time
and i’m wise to the clock so i start the countdown from 199 to 189 to 177 and i quit

because i let the air out, and for once in my life, when i left my house in two months’ time for the first time,
for once in my life, i wanted to let it in.

some days it leaks out of me.
one more laxative won’t hurt and i don’t care if the weight is fat, water, or ****, it still counts
155, 159, 163…161, 159, 155
and sometimes i still think
Ana is my friend.

but when i’m weak and jealous and out of my head
and angry at the explorer i’ve met who tells me he has so enjoyed his visit
that he’s decided to move in forever, enchanted with the landscape and the history and culture in the area, in the country i’ve built through disorder and plants and bread and loss and skin bunching and ribs you can feel and an *** you can grab so hard sometimes it hurts
sometimes i still think Ana is my friend.

but when i am deflated and counting and wearing out my plastic, and I think one way or another, I’m going to die
I’ll **** myself, with razor blades or Ativan or cancer from these ******* laxatives or these appetite suppressant menthol 100 cigarettes or maybe I’ll just jump like I wanted to
But any day, if I keep going, I’m going to pop—
I realize something about my friend Ana.
when i’m sickly and tired and ******* my brains out
and wishing i hadn’t hurt and built walls to keep out the man that filled the vacancy in my hotel heart who i promised to marry to keep in my country, the one built from feminist strength, brick and bone and stars and skin and roses and muscle and fat and beauty,

baby, take your visa back and let’s knock down these walls and we can tie me off.
Ana is not my friend.
She’s holding the pin.
jordyn Feb 2015
if you tied cement blocks to my feet                              
i’d thank your fingertips for gracing                              
and when you pushed me out                                        
to sea                                                                              
I’d kiss your stone hands                                                
and sink                                                                          
with all the love                                                              
i could muster                                                                
without telling you                                                
you’ve tangled
the threads
of my existence
until they became a knot
in your pocket.

i’d scream at the rooftops
the way I screamed at you
and tell them I’d use
them as a trampoline
to spring the regret
i felt for ever telling
you that you were less
than every
that kept me
dry, although
you’re the one
who always made it
rain anyway.

through a closed smile
teeth shattered
like stained glass
in a cathedral
where i prayed
you’d forgive me.
i know you never needed me
but if you let me come home
i'll stay on my side of the bed
keep me out of your mind
and chain
yourself to the headboard
so you don't feel tempted
to explore
me again.

i know i'm not enough
but i'm something.


— The End —