a message from a boy i don’t know that begins with, “i’m J’s cousin, i’m trying to locate her, can you....” i don’t know how to deal with those who promise death, so i don’t finish reading it, bile mixed with guilt building in my throat.
last night J told me her body was falling apart. i didn’t know how to respond. i know bodies without bones too well but i don’t know how to talk about them. i don’t know how to parse away the skin from the bone of a pig when i’m standing in the middle of a cold barn, more naked than i was when i was born.
i am naked with boys who i don’t know, but who fold me in half anyway, then fold me apart, then spit me out like i am the bitter taste of a dead dog.
keeseville, ny is upstate is a place for stained dresses & burnt milk & spoiled prayers, where i spent every summer in a body made for somebody smaller.
i’m realizing now that i’m not small, everyday i’m the opposite of small, but these boys still look at me with frightening scrutiny like i’m a goat who belongs in a bed & if i’m not pet, not fed, i will give out.
sun hangs across the sky like blood across my underwear. yours or mine? from which part of the body?