The Same Cloth

Title: The Same Cloth

My likeness stares into me
The stomach creases where my fat folds
Stands its ground as I
Bend
Twist
Thrash
Begging the layer of blubber to dissipate
My bikini line is red, indented
Hairs peak out of their follicles
I attack with tweezers
My skin’s in the way
Hemline cuts the crease of my leg
Fingers graze raised stripes
Decorating the length of my thighs
I asked Mother if I could swim in leggings
Said I didn’t want Brother to see scars she knew
about
Suspicion in her eyes
She let the pants slide
Leggings absorb water
Limbs bulky
A skinsuit
Crafted with nylon and plastics
fish catch in their gills
She made me show her the next day
Barcodes stretching across cellulite
Raised, rosy gashes like I fell in a thornbush
I remember it was April
The rest fades
Tears melting into face lotion
A sensation that refuses to leave my mind
Salt down my cheeks
Dissolving cream into pores
Devastation behind her irises
I had torn holes in her painting
Ripped the portrait
Like it was mine
Like I was the one who spent nine months
Smearing oil on blank canvas
Making it my own
She never got any say in what hues stained my
cloth
Once I was freed from her womb
I smattered myself with any paint I liked
a belligerent child with no knowledge of color
theory
Father called it a mistake the first time
He rarely says things so foolish
My fingers, numb as he spoke
We talked outside
It wasn’t on my terms
Conversations for him
To feel he’s doing something
To feel he has control
Control over me
My being
Speaking in new territory
Full of piss that isn’t mine
Predators lurking in the foliage
With expectations of
Excellence
Stability
Over-achievement
Waiting to claw fresh marks into
Empty canvas arms
They look so bare

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